Dubai SME launches incubator for healthcare companies

Ztartup brings the number of business incubators certified by the government agency to 13

RYP3WE Amazing Dubai city center at sunrise, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Alamy
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Dubai SME, a government agency tasked with developing the small and medium enterprise sector in the emirate, rolled out a new business incubator in Dubai Healthcare City.

The incubator, Ztartup, located in Wafi Residences will cater to SMEs operating in the fields of healthcare technology, including digital media, augmented and virtual reality, digital emergency and safety technology, Dubai SME said in a statement on Tuesday.

Business incubators are specially designed programmes to help young start-ups innovate and grow. They usually provide workspaces, mentorship, education and access to investors.

There should be balanced support from the public as well as private sectors to enhance the role of SMEs

The centre will help entrepreneurs to develop and improve smartphone applications for the healthcare and FinTech sectors, the agency said.

“There should be balanced support from the public as well as private sectors to enhance the role of SMEs, create new market opportunities for start-ups, open diverse financing channels for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, and formulate systems and laws for crowdfunding,” Abdul Al Janahi, chief executive of Dubai SME, said.

“The private sector plays a major role in supporting start-ups through its community initiatives, which contributes to accelerating economic growth rate.”

Demand for healthcare services has grown amid the coronavirus pandemic and companies are tapping into this demand by refining their business models to produce medical and other ancillary services.

Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of the Middle East, unveiled various support measures for SMEs and businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic last year. The emirate also launched stimulus measures worth Dh7.1 billion ($1.93bn) to offset the impact of the pandemic.

Dubai SME is “keen to help start-ups go past the Covid-19 challenge”, the statement said.

The Ztartup incubator provides two specialised programmes – one for business incubation and another for business accelerators. The incubator will evaluate the enterprises and the skills of entrepreneurs and help them choose the best programme to launch their businesses.

It also offers other services, including connecting entrepreneurs to a network of specialists and mentors to help develop their products and services, as well as training, workspaces, business start-up packages required in each phase of the project, and a number of specialised laboratories for entrepreneurs to design prototypes for their projects, the statement added.

Ztartup brings the number of business incubators certified by Dubai SME to 13. The agency has also established a network of accredited business incubators and accelerators, which will act as a reference for business incubation programmes in the country.

Certified incubators offer a package of services, events and workspaces to support entrepreneurs in launching innovative projects and competing in the local as well as global markets. The accreditation programme is also aimed to motivate the private sector to invest in business incubators and accelerators, the statement added.

“Our aim is to develop a new eco-system that supports tech entrepreneurs. The impact of this new system will be seen on future businesses, technical skills of entrepreneurs and overall economic growth in the UAE,” Mohamed Shafi, chief executive and founder of Ztartup, said.