GlassQUBE’s co-founder, Bernard Lee, recently had the honor of serving as a Mentor at this year’s Angel Hack event at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).
Angel Hack is an organization that focuses on supporting software developers and idea generators through three channels; (1) sponsored “hackathons”, (2) an accelerator known as the HACKcelerator, and (3) a formal education program.
The event was facilitated and hosted through NYU Abu Dhabi’s Idea Lab, a leading edge academic program representing NYUAD’s formal commitment to developing and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. In NYU Idea Lab’s own words;
“Our mission is to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and contribute to the development of a knowledge economy by leveraging NYUAD’s talent and intellectual property.
We envision to provide NYUAD students, faculty, and other entrepreneurs with a seamless experience as they develop and commercialize their ideas. We aim to offer a proposition which is aligned to the needs of the entrepreneur, whilst leveraging and influencing the wider ecosystem.”
The event took place on September 4 and 5 and brought together more than 100 programmers from across the region at New York University Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat campus. The aim of the 24-hour contest was to provide innovators a platform to turn their ideas into a viable commercial product through software development. Angel Hack Hackathons are held in various cities across the globe and the winners from each city compete in the Angel Hack final in Silicon Valley where they can pitch their ideas to the world’s leading technology companies.
Bernard summarized his Mentoring experience as follows;
“It was a remarkable revelation for me in many ways. As someone who has spent the majority of a 15 year career on Wall Street as a real estate investment banker and private equity investor, this peek into the world of hackathons and software programming was an education. The participants were an impressive group of young innovators that included programmers and those without a technical background, and they came together in a form of organized chaos that reminded me of my case study days at b-school, although I can assure you that what they were doing was far more interesting!
As a financier, I entered the event wondering what kind of value I could possible add to a software development intensive exercise, and as I learned more about Angel Hack in the days leading up to the event, I wondered if NYU Idea Lab had made a mistake in asking me to serve as a Mentor. However, upon engaging the various hackathon teams, it became clear that despite their remarkable technical skills, there was a notable absence of depth when it came to thinking about strategic positioning, business planning and execution, and understanding how investors think about risk adjusted capital allocation. Hence, I focused my efforts on helping the teams translate their ideas into a commercially literate, investor friendly message that highlighted their diligence around market issues.
This incredible event left me energized with a clear vision of how this growing community of innovators can and must be supported through practical frameworks, commercial services and most importantly, mentorship. As a cofounder GlassQUBE Coworking, Abu Dhabi’s first coworking business center, I am committed to ensuring that GlassQUBE Coworking will excel at providing these support mechanisms with the broader mandate of driving cross sector innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE.
GlassQUBE Coworking will provide Abu Dhabi’s rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs, SMEs and locally based international companies with a world class coworking business center that will represent the leading edge in functionality, technology and modern office design as part of a managed business ecosystem.
So this is a great segue into our next blog post where we will share more details on what GlassQUBE will bring to market and how this fits within our thesis on how leading edge businesses and the modern workforce are re-framing or “disrupting” how we think about office space today. “Disrupt” has become such an overused cliché that we grudgingly apply it here only because it is truly appropriate. More on this next time!
Thanks again to the NYU Idea Lab and Angel Hack for including us in this incredibly executed event. The GlassQUBE Team was honored to participate and humbled by the experience.
The GlassQUBE Team