Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) Launches Call to Applications for Second Cohort of Anjal Z, in Partnership with MassChallenge

Anjal Z Program will facilitate pilots and POCs in Abu Dhabi for Growth-Stage Startups operating in the Early Childhood Development Space

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – June 24, 2021: The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) announces the launch of applications for Cohort 02 of their Anjal Z program, in partnership with MassChallenge. Anjal Z will continue the formula of success as seen with its inaugural Cohort 01, empowering growth-stage startups from around the globe and furthering their innovative solutions to address today’s challenges of early childhood development across Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The 4-month long program will provide a unique and bespoke journey to each of the selected startups, facilitating mentorships from leading industry-specific expertsmand up to $190,000 of equity-free grants to support localization efforts. Applications for eligible startups are now open and will close on July 21, 2021. 

The Anjal Z program refers to ‘Generation Z’ in Arabic and to the generations inspired by the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The Anjal Z program instills innovation in early childhood development, by empowering growth-stage global startups to localize solutions that address critical ECD challenges across Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The parameters of the program focus on key areas important to the ECA, including any innovations and companies that that seek to improve early childhood development from prenatal stage to the age of eight, across the sectors of Health & Nutrition, Early Care & Education, Child Protection and Family Support. 

“Innovation has always been important, now more than ever. The disruption of the pandemic has only reinforced the need for high-quality early childhood development interventions that will better prepare our children, who represent the future of all our countries, developing the skills they need to succeed in addition to enhancing support for educators, parents and caregivers. The Anjal Z program intends to spearhead such innovations by empowering a new batch of startups to disrupt the early childhood space. Children have spent the last year away from so many norms and by rethinking how data-driven innovations address the shift in the status-quo, we can enhance the most critical time of development and keep children, as always, at the center of everything we do.” says Dr. Yousef Al Hammadi, Executive Director of Knowledge & Impact at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. 

Since its founding in 2009, MassChallenge startup alumni have graduated more than 2,458 companies that have raised more than $6.2 billion in funding, generated more than $3 billion in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. 

“Innovation has always had, at its heart, the opportunity to make our lives better, healthier and stronger. The launch of Cohort 02 of the Anjal Z program is designed to bring the best of global technologies to pilot and grow in Abu Dhabi. We’re excited to bring together best practices from across the region, and the world, to grow companies and affect the lives of millions,” says Yonit Golub Serkin, Managing Director of MassChallenge in Jerusalem.  

Selected startups for the Anjal Z program will engage in and complete an online program throughout September and October, followed up by a physical in-person program in Abu Dhabi over the course of November and December. Participating global startups will receive access to one of the Middle East’s largest economic hubs and a launch pad into operations within the region.  

Growth-stage startups should demonstrate product/market fit, have a skilled and experienced team, aspire to penetrate the UAE market and possibly the GCC and be able to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the duration of the program.  

For further information on Anjal Z, please visit:

For further information on MassChallenge, please visit


About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised $8.6B in funding, generated $3.6B in revenue, and created more than 186,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at 

About The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA)

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) is a government entity, based in Abu Dhabi, that supports holistic early childhood development. They do this by developing policies and laws, informing decision-making through research and transforming behavior. The ECA is committed to the highest standards and puts young children at the heart of all it does. The ECA aims to strengthen the child protection system from prevention to rehabilitation, enhance support for parents and primary caregivers, create an Early Childhood Development policy and legislation ecosystem, develop a comprehensive human capital strategy, create systems and platforms to drive excellence and innovation, develop a comprehensive research ecosystem and create a widespread public engagement strategy.