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 and KPMG, will act as a catalyst for collaboration between corporate leaders and FinTech start-ups from around the world.

Be first to hear when the Innovation Challenge 2020 is launched

Innovation Awards

Every year Abu Dhabi Global Market and partners hunt for the disruptive businesses developing the solutions to problem statements created 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 are then 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.

2019 challenge in collaboration with KPMG                2019 Lead Partner

KPMG logo                       Lead Partner

The Innovation Challenge 2020 - Have You Got What It Takes?

Challenge Areas

  • Financial Inclusion 
  • RegTech & SupTech 
  • Banking & Finance
  • Insurance
  • Digital Marketplaces 
  • Wealth & Asset Management
  • 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

2019 Problem Statements

View the 2019 problem statements here



Benefits of taking part


  • Prove solutions to corporate partners and wider industry participants for increased market recognition
  • Obtain guidance and solution refinement from ADGM and KPMG
  • Explore potential market expansion opportunities with support from ADGM as a strategic partner 
  • Opportunity to tie up with our corporate champions for adoption of your innovative solution 
  • Utilize a branded exhibition booth for your company during the FinTech Abu Dhabi Festival in Abu Dhabi
  • Receive a travel stipend of up to $1,200 USD for travelling to the Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival 


  • An opportunity to apply to the Hub71 incentive program and win subsidized housing, office space and health insurance in Abu Dhabi
  • In 2019, the top two finalists benefited from the opportunity to represent Abu Dhabi and the MENA region at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November 2019, as well the chance to receive a PoC grant of up to SGD 200,000
  • Opportunity to co-develop Proof of Concepts (PoC) with Corporate Champions in Abu Dhabi, for future deployment in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and beyond

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

Co-Hosted By


Abu Dhabi Global Market                  Central Bank of United Arab Emirates       



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Government Partners - 2019

Platinum Partners - 2019


Accelerator Partner - 2019


Gold Partner - 2019


Silver Partner - 2019



Bronze Partners - 2019


Education Partner - 2019


Media Partners - 2019


Arabic Technology Partner - 2019



Community Partners - 2019



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