Startupbootcamp, one of the global industry-focused start-up accelerators, is setting up its Middle East and North Africa base at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as it looks to expand its partnership with the emirate’s financial free zone.
Startupbootcamp, which is part of corporate innovation and venture development firm Rainmaking, and DIFC currently conduct an annual three-month growth programme that helps local start-ups to scale their operations and boost their business.
“Our strategic partnership with Startupbootcamp strengthens our commitment to shaping the future of finance and supporting Dubai’s position as the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region,” Arif Amiri, chief executive of the DIFC Authority, said in a statement on Monday.
“The DIFC’s robust ecosystem of unique infrastructure, expertise in multiple fields, and access to the international community of the world’s leading financial institutions, offers stellar opportunities for new start-up FinTech firms both in the region and globally.”
Launched in 2018 in partnership with the DIFC, global payments firm Visa, HSBC and Mashreq, Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai accelerator has so far graduated 20 payments, lending and Islamic digital banking FinTech start-ups.
Over the last three years, development of the FinTech sector has become a focal point for Dubai’s onshore financial hub. There are more than 200 FinTech companies based out of the DIFC, accounting for over 50 per cent of all FinTech firms in the GCC, according to the statement.
During the first half of this year, the DIFC FinTech Hive has tripled in size, as it opened up a larger space in the financial freezone's Gate Avenue. The DIFC is currently undertaking three recurring programmes – DIFC FinTech Accelerator, FinTech Hive Scale Up and Startupbootcamp scheme – that help start-ups at various growth stages.
“Since 2017, Rainmaking and [the] DIFC have been partnering to attract the best FinTech start-ups from around the globe, and we’re now working on launching together new and ambitious innovation programmes that will generate a huge impact in the UAE,” Lars Buch, chief executive of Rainmaking Mena & Russia, said.
“Although the post-Covid[-19] era will push the world towards an increasingly virtual dimension, we will still need a physical hub where businesses can meet, exchange knowledge and develop together new opportunities. And DIFC is just the best place to make this happen,” he added.