Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Hub71 partners with Bpifrance to support tech start-ups in Abu Dhabi and France

The organisations have agreed to develop programmes to provide mentorship and access to potential partners to help select start-ups

Set up in March 2019, Hub71 is a start-up incubator based within Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's financial free zone. Courtesy Hub71
Set up in March 2019, Hub71 is a start-up incubator based within Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's financial free zone. Courtesy Hub71

Hub71 joined forces with French national investment bank Bpifrance to boost innovation and support tech start-ups and companies in Abu Dhabi and France.

The partnership builds on a 10-year bilateral roadmap between the UAE and France, and will foster close collaboration between the two entities, the Abu Dhabi tech accelerator said in a statement on Monday. They also agreed to explore mutually beneficial co-investment opportunities for Hub71 and French start-ups.

“Cementing our strategic partnership with such an esteemed institution casts the net wider for Hub71 start-ups to successfully enter the French market,” Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, Hub71’s chief executive, said.

“Bpifrance shares our long-term commitment of promoting entrepreneurship … ensuring French start-ups can arrive in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 and use our dynamic ecosystem as a springboard to a prosperous Middle East and North Africa region,” she added.

Both Hub71 and Bpifrance will launch programmes through which they will offer mentorship, access to potential partners and opportunities to pitch before the investors to select start-ups.

These programmes will aim to develop new and innovative technology products and services designed for the UAE and French markets.

“Pooling our resources together with Hub71 creates an attractive value proposition that will help Abu Dhabi-based start-ups and entrepreneurs thrive in France,” said Nicolas Dufourcq, chief executive of Bpifrance.

“We see incredible potential in bridging the France and Abu Dhabi tech ecosystems … foster investor relationships and potential partnerships for French entrepreneurs who can benefit from our collaborative community through Hub71’s incentive programme.”

Hub71’s incentive programme includes free housing, health insurance and office space for up to three years, equating up to Dh3 million in support per start-up.

France, which is a home to nearly 10,000 start-ups that are active in various sectors, has become a hotbed for tech innovation in the recent years.

Hub71's latest partnership follows an agreement by Mubadala Investment Company – Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm and partner of Hub71 – to invest €1 billion ($1.1bn) in a multi-billion investment fund managed by Bpifrance.

The LAC I fund aims to raise €10bn that will be earmarked for investments in about 15 listed companies taken from a large pool of France’s leading corporations over the next decade.

“We fully support Hub71’s new agreement with Bpifrance as it builds on our strategic relationship with the investment bank to raise funding opportunities for lucrative French tech businesses that can deliver significant returns on investment,” said Khaled Al Shamlan, head of sovereign investment partnerships at Mubadala Capital.

Hub71, whose start-ups have collectively raised more than Dh510.1m up to the second week of last July, was set up in March 2019 by the Abu Dhabi government, Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Microsoft and SoftBank.

It is a flagship initiative of the Dh50bn Ghadan 21 economic stimulus programme.

Updated: October 12, 2020 03:55 PM

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