Dubai Smart City Accelerator Hosts Selection Days for its Third Cohort
Now in its third year, Startupbootcamp’s Dubai Smart City Accelerator hosted startup finalists last week for two intense Selection Days aimed at identifying the top 10 startups for its upcoming cohort.
Throughout Selection Days, the 21 startup finalists met with Dubai Smart City’s partners – Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, du, Dubai Chamber, Smart Dubai, Visa, Orange Business Services, and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai – for their chance to explore the potential for business collaboration and PoCs. In addition to funding the program, these key partners provide expertise, exposure channels, APIs and unparalleled access to their deep Smart City network of industry professionals and mentors from around the world.
The startups also had mentorship sessions with over 20 investors and experts who provided feedback on their pitch, developing their business model and exploring ways to expand their market share.
“Selection Days are a great opportunity for our partners, mentors, and teams to get to know startups in-person before deciding who is the best fit for our Accelerator program. It’s a win for all startups because they develop valuable business connections and get candid feedback that helps them better understand the Dubai market and improve their businesses,” said Leen Nabulsi, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Smart City Accelerator.
The 21 finalists were chosen from over 800 applicants from 74 countries. During a four-month recruitment period, the Startupbootcamp team hosted Office Hours and Fast Tracks in 28 countries globally to identify the most promising Smart City-focused startups aligned with the Accelerator’s verticals: IoT & Connectivity, Urban Automation & Mobility, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Open City Data, Sustainable Cities & Living, Smart Government, and Smart Retail.
For the first time, startups from the MENA region represented the majority of finalists for the Accelerator program. The finalists have businesses operating in 12 countries globally, including Australia, Egypt, Germany, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
“We are excited about this cohort as it marks a shift from bringing in international startups to the region as done in previous years,” said Ibrahim Seksek, Managing Director of the Dubai Smart City Accelerator. “Now that we have a cohort with a majority of regional companies, our value proposition changes for the startups. We are now becoming a Dubai hub that is a stepping stone to the world for regional startups.”
The Accelerator program has successfully graduated two cohorts thus far and is looking forward to kicking off the third cohort on September 29, 2019. Cohort 3 will be announced in conjunction with the program launch when selected startups will relocate to Dubai. Over three months they will receive hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts, office space in Dubai, seed funding, and access to a global network of investors and corporate partners from across the Smart City industries. The program concludes with Demo Day where the startups will pitch to over 200 investors and partners.
For more information on the Dubai Smart City Accelerator, visit dubaismartcity.org.
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