DANA is an Abu Dhabi based venture builder and investment platform 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 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.
Top startups in the program will be eligible for investment between $300K - $1M through DANA Limited Partnership.
We envision an interconnected region in which women lead a burgeoning tech ecosystem based on values of sustainability and diversity.
Our deal flow currently includes six startups from different countries including the UAE, Israel, Palestine, and KSA, all of which are led by at least one female founder, focusing on sustainability in the desert climate, that address pertinent pain points in the region’s most significant industries.
Women Led Companies
Social and Environmental Impact
MENA Region and Developing Markets
Pre-seed – series A
DANA emphasizes the importance of POC processes and feedback directly from the corporates and industries that startup solutions seek to address. DANA offers startups and strategic partners access to the Hatzeva beta site for agritech POC in the Arava, offering pilots on along all aspects of the logistic supply chain structures from field to shelf, including seeding, irrigation, soil cultivation, compost, fertilization and pesticides, pre and post harvest, packaging and preservation, and transport.
Our beta site consists of 1,000 dunams of greenhouses, nethouses, outdoor desert agriculture, and a packaging house, offering experimental areas for various types of agricultural testing, and options for feedback on the product from potential corporate customers during the POC process. Our beta site also offers educational workshops and R&D processes for hire for companies external to the DANA cohort.
We are in the process of establishing our second beta site in Abu Dhabi that will facilitate POC for the UAE food security ecosystem, and access to MENA markets.
We maintain R&D and design partnerships in Abu Dhabi, the West Bank, and Cairo, in order to provide our startups with the best POC conditions in a variety of regional locations.
“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.
ECOSYSTEM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
Stav Bar Shani
Darya Henig Shaked
Dalia Aga Shaw
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.