DANA is an Abu Dhabi based accelerator that supports women-led startups in desert tech, including sectors of AgriTech, water solutions, food security, waste management, and renewable energy through regional collaboration, innovation mentorship, impact community, and investment.
The program emphasizes the importance of diversity in innovation, supporting women from the MENA region generating unique sustainable solutions, and creating a cross-border community of empowered private sector leaders.
DANA offers an eight month bespoke program to each startup according to its specific needs, with custom selected mentors, product advisors and investment opportunities, design and marketing assistance, beta sites and POC, facilitated interactions with relevant corporate enterprise and potential consumers, and access to the most cutting edge AI tools through collaboration with Microsoft.
Additionally, DANA seeks to foster the various aspects of the ecosystem with content offered to innovation centers and academic institutions, events that inculcate a critical discourse about sustainability and women in tech, collaboration on R&D, and teaching angel investment to the region’s influential women.
We envision an interconnected region in which women lead a new tech ecosystem and business culture. DANA emphasizes the importance of diversity, sustainability, and hands-on exploration of solutions for desert-oriented challenges, working along the lines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals focusing on climate rehabilitation, employment, and women empowerment.
DANA'S FIRST COHORT
Our deal flow includes five startups from different countries including Israel, Gaza, and the UAE, all of which are led by a woman co-founder, focusing on sustainability in the desert climate, and with B2B focus that address pertinent pain points in the region’s most significant industries.
Women led companies
Social impact and diversity
DANA emphasizes the importance of communication and POC processes directly with the corporates and industries they seek to address. DANA Accelerator offers startups and strategic partners access to the Hatzeva beta site for AgriTech POC in the Arava, offering experiments on along all aspects of the logistic supply chain structures from field to shelf, including seeding, irrigation, soil cultivation, compost, fertilization and pesticides, harvesting, packaging and preservation, and transport. Our beta site also offers agricultural workshops and education, greenhouses and seeding, experimental areas for various types of agricultural testing, and options for feedback on the product from potential corporate customers during the POC process.
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.
Last year 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.