FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge

About the Challenge

Showcasing World-Class FinTech Talent

The FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge brings together the most disruptive emerging and scaling FinTech talent from across the world to address real challenges championed by corporates through to proof of concept or prototype. In 2019, the challenge builds on two years of success in supporting leading innovators in working with regional corporates on real problems.

With FinTech Abu Dhabi as the gateway to the Middle East & North Africa for global and regional FinTech businesses, Abu Dhabi Global Market, in collaboration with Unbound, will act as a catalyst for collaboration between corporate leaders and FinTech start-ups from around the world.

Application is Now Open

Innovation Awards


Abu Dhabi Global Market, together with Unbound, are on the hunt for the disruptive businesses developing the solutions to problem statements developed with UAE-based institutions (Corporate Champions). Startups can apply directly to the Innovation Challenge and take part in the FinTech Abu Dhabi Tour/Roadshow events to learn more. Those selected will be invited to take part in Innovation Deep Dives with Corporate Champions during FinTech Abu Dhabi before pitching their solution to an audience of financial institutions, regulators, corporates and media in Startup Battles on the Main Stage of FinTech Abu Dhabi.

However, the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge doesn't just aim to present potential solutions to real problems. It seeks to solve them. In taking part in the Innovation Challenge, startups will have the opportunity to enter into long-term relationships with the Corporate Champions and will be invited to set up their base on Abu Dhabi's Al Maryah Island.

Review Problem Statements

Think You've Got What It Takes?

Challenge Areas

  • RegTech & SupTech 
  • Financial Inclusion 
  • Digital Marketplaces 
  • Blockchain & Crypto
  • Security & Trust

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Value Proposition - ability of solution to address the problem statement
  2. Business Model - ability to scale and generate revenue
  3. Performance - market readiness and maturity
  4. Team - experience of team members

The Process


Applications Now Open


Leading global FinTech talent will be invited to apply, Abu Dhabi Global Market and Unbound will assess applications through a multistage selection process.

Complimenting the call for applications is The Tour, activities in FinTech hubs such as San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and more…

Key dates (may be subject to change): 

  • Problem Statements announced from June
  • Apply from June
  • Applications close Monday, September 23
  • FinTech Abu Dhabi, October 21 - 23

Submit Your Application Now

Delivering Value to...

Corporate Champions

Corporate Champions

  • Access to leading talent and potential adoption of market-ready solutions
  • Branding and thought leadership
  • Innovation strategy support
  • Association with the world's most innovative FinTech Talent


  • Prove solutions with corporate partners and market recognition
  • Expert guidance and solution refinement from Abu Dhabi Global Market and Unbound 
  • Market expansion with Abu Dhabi Global Market as a Strategic Partner 
  • Adoption and collaboration with prototypes and proof of concepts

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