24 Emirati Nationals First Graduates of the Flat6Labs Future Innovators Academy

09 May 2017

The program’s first edition introduced the participants to innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurship in the aim of developing the skills of Emirati Youth.

Yesterday marked the graduation ceremony of the Future Innovators Academy, a one-month innovation program run by Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi and twofour54’s creative lab in partnership with the Emirates Youth Council, Lamsa and Eight Hub Technology.

The program’s first edition aimed to select young Emirati Nationals aged 17-25 and provide them with sessions and workshops around innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurship with the aim of developing their skills for the workplace or their own business ventures. With a competitive process from hundreds of applications, the participants were selected for their passions and commitment to creative solutions for the country.

The initiative of twofour54 has been instrumental in developing this program and launching its first edition through Flat6Labs. H.E Maryam Al Mheiri, CEO of twofour54 said: “Developing young Emirati talent in the creative industries is a top priority for twofour54 as part of our remit to build a thriving media and entertainment industry in Abu Dhabi to serve the nation’s economic and cultural agenda. The Future Innovators Academy designed and delivered by Flat6Labs and our creative lab team is a great example of the investment we continue to make in ensuring our young people have the opportunity to explore their potential and the support to realise their dreams. I congratulate the program’s graduates and all those who involved in making it happen.”

Eng. Ali Al Nuaimi, Member of the Emirates Youth Council, stated: “The Future Innovators Academy is one of the important initiatives aiming at developing the skills of the Emirati Youth and our partnership with Flat6Labs and twofour54 on this program mark the commitment of the Youth Council to collaborate with strategic partners for youth-centric initiatives. Developing the skills of the Emirati Youth is a priority set forth by the leadership of our country and is being fulfilled with the numerous initiatives of H.E. Minister Shamma Al Mazrui. The program has effectively promoted innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset among the participants.”

24 Emirati Nationals with a 70 percent female majority coming from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai and Al Ain successfully graduated from the Future Innovators Academy, selected from hundreds of applicants. The four-week experience designed by Flat6Labs encompassed many workshops around themes such as design thinking, business model, value proposition, pitching and public speaking, prototyping, influencer media, digital web development, etc…in a total of 30 hours of training.

The participants also received the great opportunity to pitch stories about the program to Lamsa, a children’s Arabic reading app, which may go on to be selected for production and showcased to millions of children in the Arab World through the app, maximizing the impact of the experience.

Speaking about the program, Victor Kiriakos, Managing Director at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi stated: “We are very proud of the Future Innovators Academy and the impact we have seen on the 24 participants who highlighted the amazing potential of the Emirati youth. It is a strategic priority of Flat6Labs to actively engage with the local community and we hope that this initiative is replicated within other verticals and locations in the UAE and beyond”.

The program has also been very impactful among the participants, adding value that goes beyond the four weeks of the program. Khalid AlQassimi, a 19 year-old student of Maths and Physics at the American University in Sharjah said: “The people at Flat6Labs did a great job and nurturing one’s ability to really get out there and practise using their voice. It showed me there was nothing to fear, and that all ideas are worth at least sharing. I would recommend this program to everyone I love a thousand times over”.

In a closing event at the Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi offices, the participants received certificates from the CEO of twofour54 and the Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi team, in an informal ceremony where they discussed their learnings from the program and how the program will impact their corporate or entrepreneurial careers. The program aimed to ensure that the participants are now equipped to explore their next career challenge or entrepreneurial venture and encourage them to positively contribute to the development of the country.

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