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About Us

DANA is an Abu Dhabi based venture builder and an investment platform that supports women-led startups in desert technologies,  including sectors of agritech, food tech, water solutions, and renewable energy. 

DANA works throughout the MENA region and offers its startups/ecosystem partners regional collaboration, innovation mentorship, impact community, and funding.

 

The program emphasizes the importance of diversity in innovation, empowering women from across the MENA region generating unique sustainable solutions, and generating top quality deal flow.

 

DANA’s venture builder program can last between 8-18  months, tailored to the needs of each startup, including hands-on mentorship, product advisors, corporate design partnerships, proof of concept and feasibility testing at our beta sites, incorporation of AI tools, and business developing in the MENA region. 

Startups in the program will be able to enjoy access to DANA’s strong partners in the region, academic RD, product development and piloting in DANA’s Beta site, and investment. 

 

ABOUT US

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PARTNER WITH DANA

APPLY FOR DANA VENTURE BUILDER

Our Vision

OUR
VISION

We envision an interconnected region in which women lead a burgeoning tech ecosystem based on values of sustainability and diversity.

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DANA'S
PORTFOLIO

 our deal flow currently includes women-led startups from the MENA region focusing on sustainability that addresses the desert climate, that address pertinent pain points in the region’s most significant industries.

 INVESTMENT CRITERIA

Cutting Edge Solutions
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Women Led Companies
Social and Environmental Impact
Startups Criteria
MENA Region and Developing Markets
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Pre-seed – series A

R&D

DANA places a strong emphasis on incorporating feedback and insights directly from corporate and industrial stakeholders that align with the objectives of startup solutions. Through our collaboration, startups and strategic partners gain valuable access to the Masdar City, Agadir, and Ramat Negev Beta Sites. These sites serve as testing grounds for comprehensive pilot programs covering all facets of food security, spanning from the initial stages of seeding, irrigation, and soil cultivation to later stages involving compost, fertilization, pesticides, pre and post-harvest procedures, packaging, preservation, and logistics.

 

 In addition, We provide startups and strategic partners with access to our beta sites in Ramat Negev, Masdar City, and Agadir, offering comprehensive proof-of-concept (POC) services and support for achieving product-market fit. Our pipeline facilitates access to professional agronomists for guidance throughout the POC process, along with services such as company and IP registration, AI implementation, data analysis, and assistance in commercialization.

R&D

BETA SITE

  • Masdar City Beta Site:

This site focuses on Proof of Concept (POC) for the MENA food security ecosystem. Collaborating with distinguished partners, it provides a platform for startups and innovations in desert agriculture. The site showcases unique products and demonstrates regenerative agricultural practices.

 

  • Agadir Beta Site:

Chosen as the third beta site, Agadir emphasizes water technology and sustainable solutions. With a rich history in traditional farming, Agadir aligns seamlessly with DANA's mission to address Morocco's water ecosystem needs. DANA's partnership with IAV University establishes Agadir's new innovation hub for resilient and eco-efficient agriculture solutions, emphasizing academic research in sustainable technology.

 

  • Ramat Negev Beta Site:

The Ramat Negev beta site is a leading facility in desert agriculture. It features cutting-edge solutions in desert agriculture, agritech, and water technologies. Covering 1,000 dunams, the site includes greenhouses, nethouses, outdoor desert agriculture, and a packaging house, providing extensive areas for agricultural testing.

ABU DHABI

“The National Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to make the UAE a world-leading hub in innovation driven food security globally.”

 

We are proud to be part of the rapidly developing Abu Dhabi ecosystem, contributing to the manifestation of the National Food Security Strategy 2051 while bringing female leadership to the forefront. 

OUR PARTNERS

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TEAM

Team

Regionally Spread across the mena woman-Led but focused on Diversity and Gender Equality.

Shirley Shahar 

CEO
 

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Nadine Benchaffai

Venture Builder

Director
 

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Yara Amayra

Vinod Subramaniam

Asif Mohammed

Community 

Manager

 

Head of Sustainability

Beta Site Project Manager

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Yoav Kovetz

Water Tech and Project Consultant

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Assaf Ron

Chief Agronomist

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Bouchra Adil

Admin Lead

 

Professional Advisory Board

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Yoav Kovetz

Dalia Aga Shaw

YFM Water Engineering & Projects

CDC Group

Water Tech & Projects

Impact & Gender Equality

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Dganit Vered

SmartAgro

Agritech

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Tariq Bin Hindi

Global Ventures

Financial & Investments

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Nadine Benchaffai

DANA Venture Builder

Food Tech

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Assaf Ron

Chief Agronomist

DANA Venture 

Builder

Advisory Board

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David Sable

DoAble

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Nick Cochrane Dyet

British Chamber of Commerce, UAE

Maha Al Fahim

High Water Venture Partners

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Malachi Halliday

Halliday Growth

Founding Team

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Katie Wachsberger

Shirley Shahar

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Zada Haj

DANA
THE WOMEN BEHIND THE NAME 

Dana Salah was a close friend and colleague, and an engineer, innovator, and entrepreneur from Ramallah. She and Zada were co-founders of their own startup, mentored by Shirley.

Four years ago, Dana was tragically killed in a car accident.

At the same time, our team developed the idea for a regional desert tech accelerator, and were given the blessing of Dana’s family to name the program in her honor.

 

Thus, it is only natural that this project, based on women empowerment, environmental justice, and diversity will carry Dana’s name.

We promised ourselves to make this project one in which Dana would have taken pride.

DANA

GET IN TOUCH

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CONTACT
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