Shorooq Investments and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) form partnership to boost elite Korean startup expansion in the Middle East
Since the early days of the company, Shorooq Investments is working relentlessly to honor its commitment to encourage innovation and cooperation in the Middle East’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. Continuing the successful run, Shorooq has joined forces with Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Together they are going to start the “Jusoor” Accelerator Program to take advantage of KOTRA’s strong Korean startup ties and Shorooq’s regional expertise, for creating unique opportunities for 3-5 leading Korean startups. The Founders of these startups will be given opportunities to spend some time in the UAE to receive mentorship and networking opportunities from industry leaders, investors, partners, and customers.
Kunal Savjani, Partner at Shorooq Investments, said: “At Shorooq Investments, we constantly strive to be the forerunners of growth in the region’s VC ecosystem through new and unique pathways. With the help of KOTRA, we are honored to formulate this partnership with a Korean government entity and we will open doors for visionary entrepreneurs and innovative ideas from Korea to transcend international boundaries and find their place in UAE. Jusoor Accelerator Program’s objective is to enable Korean startups be based in UAE and use this as a regional hub to build further presence in the Middle East and Africa,”
The UAE market has become quite attractive for cross-country collaboration, and this partnership is a very significant example of that. It will create valuable opportunities for the region’s ecosystem as well as the Korean startups to gather more knowledge and use that intel to acquire a better understanding of the industry’s global landscape. The program will invite important personnel from management of selected startups to spend 4 weeks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. During this period, Shorooq and KOTRA are going to arrange some exclusive sessions to give the startup reps a detailed perspective on the Middle Eastern market and industry. In addition, the program will also provide the startups with opportunities to connect to other startups, investors, incubators, VCs, partners and government entities within the region.
Since its establishment in 1962, KOTRA’s goal has been developing trade and investment collaborations between foreign enterprises and Korean SMEs and startups. “In recent years, we have started to place a special emphasis on startups and their potential contributions to economic growth and diversification” said Kwan Seok Lee, Regional President, KOTRA MENA. “We took upon this initiative in order to regularly bring elite Korean startups to the UAE and help them interact and infuse with the local startup ecosystem. This will allow them to make meaningful contributions to the UAE economy while growing along with it”, he added.
“The journey of Shorooq Investments finds its foundations in a friendship between Mahmoud Adi, an Emirati and me, a Korean – both educated and experienced in the US. This has uniquely positioned us to bridge and connect the US and Asia with the Middle East” said Shane Shin, Founding Managing Partner of Shorooq. “The ‘Jusoor’ Accelerator Program is a perfect demonstration of how our deep global networks can allow us to attract international interest and create unique opportunities. We are truly excited to explore the synergies between the Korean startups and the region’s ecosystem,” he further added.
Both the companies are very hopeful of making their partnership a grand success; and they wish to benefit both the Middle Eastern region and the Korean companies in the long term, to become a precedent of successful cross-country collaboration.