The University of Manchester (UoM) Middle East Centre in Dubai has partnered with UAEpreneur, a new programme for entrepreneurs and startups, to pick top 10 startups and provide professional development opportunities for the winners.
UAEpreneur is an initiative of Dubai-based Innovest Middle East and aims to identify 10 leading startups from the region and introduce them to angel investors at an investor day in Dubai. UAEpreneurs is also supported by Johnson & Johnson Middle East, Startupgrind, and MENACatalyst.
The UAEpreneur programme is initially focusing on young entrepreneurs and has already attracted interest and applications from across the GCC and wider Middle East region. The screening and selection process of the top 10 startups is now underway, supported by experts from the University’s Middle East Centre in Dubai. Many of the startups are digital businesses targeting the b2b and b2c sectors.
Following the selection of the 10 startups, the young entrepreneurs will be invited to the Investors Day event in Dubai to present their ideas to angel investors and prospective industry partners within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The prospective investors are both individuals and entities willing to invest seed funding of $50,000-$250,000 to help start up or scale the businesses.
Moatassem Moatez, partner at Innovest Middle East, said: “UAEpreneurs is an initiative to support the fast growing startup community in the region. Our focus is on younger entrepreneurs and a practical approach to getting them the support, finance and skills they need to succeed. Our commitment goes beyond matching startups to investors and Innovest will offer additional professional support to the winning startups. Ideas are important of course but potential investors look first at the people and their skills to assess a startup’s viability, so the participation of The University of Manchester will be valuable.”
Randa Bessiso, Middle East director at The University of Manchester, added: “From our own experience, we can see the very powerful attraction of entrepreneurial careers among professionals across the Middle East. Our aim is to support these innovators and our partnership with Innovest and the UAEpreneur programme is another way of doing this.
“The Middle East Centre will enable access for the 10 startups to our executive education programmes and our extensive network of students and alumni across the region. Investors invest in people first and so our support in personal and professional skills development will be valuable to startups.”
The University of Manchester Middle East Centre has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising six hubs in key business cities around the world. The centre has supported more than 2,300 part-time MBA students based in the region and has graduated more than 1,300 MBA students since opening in 2006.