Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority rolls out new programme to support early stage start-ups

The 12-month plan is open to companies with a minimum viable product to those in the seed stage

Dubai - UAE: 04 November, 2015 – His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) announced, that Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is currently implementing investment projects with a cost of AED1.423 billion. Dubai Technology Entrepreneur centre (DTEC). Courtesy DSOA *** Local Caption ***  bz04no-dsoa-03.JPG
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Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has launched a new programme called Sandbox to help early stage tech start-ups scale and raise funds.

The one-year programme is open to start-ups that have only a minimum viable product to those in the seed stage and will have a rolling application process, Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Sunday.

Entrepreneurs will follow a structured curriculum, which will consist of theoretical and practical workshops, mentorship sessions and networking opportunities.

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus is a wholly owned unit of DSOA that offers co-working spaces, business accelerators and R&D facilities to start-ups. It will also have a dedicated funding purse to invest in promising companies enrolled in the programme.

“The programme is the first of its kind in the region, founder-centric, addressing a gap in early-stage initiatives. It will help position Dubai and the wider UAE as a global destination for promising entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as investors,” Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice chairman and chief executive of DSOA, said.

Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of the Middle East, has introduced various initiatives to support the growth of start-ups. The emirate will host a key summit in January next year as it seeks to attract more venture capitalists to fund start-ups.

There are more than 1,400 start-ups in the UAE, with Dh1.5 billion allocated to them, according to Dubai Chamber. The total value of start-ups in the country is estimated at Dh90bn.

The latest initiative by DSOA will give each participant access to venture capital funds and broad services provided by its partners worth more than Dh550,000. The start-ups that are part of Sandbox will also be eligible for company setup rates, equivalent to Dh9,500, the statement also said.

Sandbox is also built on a KPI-driven approach, with “founders being highly accountable, while creating a vibrant community for emerging entrepreneurs and hosting expert speakers and professionals”.

It will have six pillars, including product development, traction, scaling, financial diagnostics, well-being and legal support, DSOA said.

“Dubai Silicon Oasis, and its wholly owned Dtec, have extensive experience as a tech hub and an incubator for entrepreneurs and start-ups, supporting them in transforming their innovative ideas into reality and empowering them in securing financing,” Mr Al Zarooni said.

Updated: October 17, 2021, 4:11 PM