By: Sandhya D'Mello / Khaleej Times
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
Mobility, clean energy and healthcare sector will be top three sectors where disruption will be evident in the current year, says Vijay Tirathrai, managing director, Techstars Dubai Accelerator.
The accelerator has been a pioneer in bringing global talent into the UAE through its mentoring programme and has recently brought in 10 firms from across the globe which are currently working on innovation that Dubai will be able to witness and later implement it here to disrupt the conventional businesses. The new batch of forms is from eight countries, including the United States, Turkey, Hong Kong, Germany, Jordan, the Netherlands and the UAE.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars Dubai Accelerator has partnered with Ginco Investments, which is a full service general contracting firm covering the full lifecycle of the construction process from concept to execution and supervision.
Ginco Investments backs founders, 40 per cent of which are led by women and invests alongside the world's most notable investors. Ginco is led by Mohammed Gheyath, execute director of the UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.
The accelerator is in its second year of operation in Dubai. The accelerator after reviewing several hundreds of applications from across the globe, chose only 10 companies to take part in the 3 month long accelerator programme. This is an intensive 13-week mentorship-driven programme will culminate in a 'Demo Day' on April 17, where the companies will pitch to the startup ecosystem, comprising of mentors, investors, customers and their families and friends.
Tie up with DFF
Techstars Dubai Accelerator is a founding partner of the Area 2071, the innovation hub that is managed by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF). The hub - Area 2071 - is a physical and digital space and ecosystem purposefully designed to deeply connect corporates, governments, startups, investors, entrepreneurs and the public in order to co-create the future. It seeks to create the right ecosystem to attract global minds, foster talents as well as create an environment that encourages collaboration.
"We have the privilege of being located in one of the most well-conceived co-working spaces, with an environment that promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Importantly, it provides us with easy access to various government and corporate agencies as part of the extended network we offer to our founders," added Tirathrai.
It may be recalled that M12, Microsoft Corp's venture fund, recently held the M12 Innovation Summit: Leveraging Data and AI, at Dubai Future Foundation's Area 2071 in demonstration of the company's steadfast commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and economic growth in the UAE. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Dubai Future Foundation's AreaA 2071 and Microsoft, which entails cooperation between the two parties in promoting entrepreneurial opportunities for Area 2071 startups.
The managing director of the accelarator explains that mobility will be one sector where there will be an upward trend in smart transportation, possibly due to low cost and readily adoptable tech in Internet of Things (IoT) and AI, such as 2018 Techstars Dubai Alumni Flugauto, the patent-pending, autonomous and fully-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicle. The 2019 will also see disruption in clean energy, with growing environmental concerns as well as gyrations in fossil fuel costs.
"I believe clean energy will be a prominent area of disruption, included by Techstars Dubai alumni Novele, the electrical board for densely built environments and Element16, with their heat storage technology that reduces emissions from industrial facilities," said Tirathrai.