• Thursday March 7th, 2019

Healthy eating platform for UAE pupils wins funding

Yacob Intelligent Health, a platform for schoolchildren, is the first Emirati start-up company to win funding worth $120,000 (Dh440,700) from Techstars Dubai and GINCO in the latest round of Techstars Dubai Accelerator Program hosted in Area 2071.

“For the past two years we have developed a system that monitors what food pupils buy in school,” said the company’s Emirati Chief Executive, Faisal Al Hammadi. “It gives us access to data that we can use to monitor trends and suggest healthy eating.

“We have looked at ways to change pupil behavior. If a child chooses an apple over a slice of pizza, they can win points.”

Yacob Intelligent Health, a food-tracking system to ¬encourage healthy eating in schools, is one of the 10 winners of funding and support. The product has been trialed at Jumeira Baccalaureate School, and it is being used at 46 other schools in the UAE.

The company worked with pediatric nutrition specialists and a behavioral scientist to understand why children make unhealthy eating choices and how those decisions can be improved.