Meet 7 startup incubators and accelerators in UAE
West Asia, which provides jobs to millions, is a strategic region for many countries in the world, thanks to its massive oil reserves. However, the region’s economy has been on a downward spiral for the past few years. Countries, which have long been dependent on oil for revenues, have now started looking at alternative sources. Tech startups industry is one such source.
Of all the countries, the UAE is at the forefront of the startup revolution. The successful exits of companies such as Careem (acquired by Uber) and Souq.com (acquired by Amazon) have boosted its startup industry.
The UAE has been attracting startups and accelerators to the country to start and set up business there. There are now a handful of incubators and accelerators to help entrepreneurs hone their skills and realise their dreams.
Below is a list of seven incubators and accelerator in the UAE.
Dubai Smart City Accelerator
The Dubai Smart City Accelerator, powered by Startupbootcamp, supports innovative companies in the IoT and cconnectivity, urban automation & mobility, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, open city data, sustainable cities & living, smart government, and smart retail industry.
Its intensive three-month accelerator programme provides 10 selected smart city companies with hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts, office space in Dubai, seed funding, and access to a global network of investors and corporate partners from across the smart city industries.
The Turn8 growth accelerator is focussed on startups with minimum viable product innovations (MVPs) and immediate product-to-market fit in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Turn8 injects investment, develops talent and provide mentorship and business development support for startups.
The Fall Round begins in September and Spring Round begins in February of each year. Rounds last for four to five months.
Launched in 2013, Turn8 has funded over 70 technology startups to date.
Impact Hub Dubai is a community of entrepreneurs, creatives and techies in the UAE. It connects social entrepreneurs, investors and supporters with the aim of finding ways to disrupt society by shifting economic thought from profit towards impact. It designs, develops and manages programmes and services that provide capacity building, acceleration and impact scaling for enterprises in the Middle East.
Impact Hub also offers a co-working space and community located in Dubai’s renowned Downtown district. It also offers workshops, events, networking and innovation labs for startups and entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2013, in5 is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups, fostering innovation and helping new ideas reach the marketplace. Launched by TECOM Group, in5 offers business setup framework, training and mentorship, networking, investment opportunities, and prototyping labs, studios and creative workspaces.
in5’s three specialised innovation centres provide aspiring students, entrepreneurs and startups with access to a community of creative minds, facilitating the constant exchange of knowledge.
Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi is a global hub for digital innovation that supports a generation of entrepreneurs from the UAE and abroad to launch digital businesses in Abu Dhabi and scale to regional and global markets. Supported by twofour54, Flat6Labs supports startups at idea-, early-, and growth phases, with a focus on media and digital content, including media and film production, e-commerce, social media, online education, gaming, mobile apps, and big data and analytics.
In its competitive programme, Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi provides entrepreneurs with seed funding, strategic mentorship, office space, a multitude of perks and services from partners, and entrepreneurship-focused business training and development workshops, all engineered to prepare companies to be investment-ready within four and a half months.
An initiative of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dtec is designed to help entrepreneurs set up a new business in Dubai. Dtech provides amenities ranging from 100 per cent business ownership, visa processing, 24/7 access, high-speed wifi, to a range of creative meeting and events spaces.
For technology startups and entrepreneurs looking for flexible co-working or office space in Dubai for rent, Dtec offers a nurturing, supportive community from which they can set up their new business. One of the largest technology innovation hubs in the MENA region, the 10,000 sqm creatively designed workspace hosts an integrated ecosystem, home to hundreds of startups, SMEs and technology entrepreneurs from around the world.
Dubai Future Accelerator
Dubai Future Accelerators facilitates partnerships between entrepreneurs, private sector organisations and government entities to co-create solutions. Dubai Future Accelerators was launched in 2016 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation.
Its mission is to imagine, design and co-create the future. It pairs forward-thinking public and private sector organisations and startups using the city of Dubai as a living testbed to co-create solutions for global and local challenges of tomorrow.