Published On: 1-10-2018

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, announced the signing of several deals between three UAE-based companies, namely Emirates NBD, Nikai Group, and Sanofi, and startups that were selected as winners of the Market Access programme’s second cycle.

A total of 4 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were unveiled during a deal signing ceremony which was recently held at Dubai Chamber’s premises and attended by senior Dubai Chamber officials, and representatives from Dubai’s business community.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, and H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber. The agreements, covering a wide range of industries, business projects and objectives, will remain valid for one year. Under the terms of the MoUs, all parties will explore potential areas of collaboration to gain mutual business benefits.

Emirates NBD signed an MoU with knowledge-based performance improvement startup Tuitify to create an employee engagement platform for the bank. Emirates NBD also signed an MoU with fintech startup FOO to develop a payment platform that supports virtual point of sales, payment via QR code and reporting.

Tuitify signed a second deal with Sanofi to enhance its relationships with its customers through the startup’s social media platform, while Nikai Group signed an agreement with consulting startup Rib & Wit to work together to develop corporate digital solutions, innovative services and emerging technologies solutions for smart concepts in digital economy.

In his welcome remarks, H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, noted that the response to the second cycle of the Market Access programme was overwhelming with more than 150 startups submitting business ideas and solutions, marking a 15% increase in submissions compared to the first cycle.

“The winning startups are a true reflection of the UAE’s thriving entrepreneurial eco-system which continues to mature and evolve.
We congratulate them all on this big accomplishment and hope that the signed deals will take their businesses to the next level and inspire other startups to join the programme in the years to come,” said H.E. Al Shirawi.

In addition, H.E Al Shirawi briefed participants on the main benefits of participating in Market Access, as well as the objectives of the Dubai Chamber’s Entrepreneurship Strategy 2021 which aims to expand the scope of support to startups, entrepreneurs and youth in Dubai.

Evans Munyuki, Chief Digital Officer at Emirates NBD said:
“The Market Access Programme has provided the ideal platform to facilitate cooperation between us and pioneering startups that may have the optimal solutions we are looking for. Our experience so far has been both seamless and productive, and we look forward to making cutting-edge progress together.”

“We believed that partnering in this program will give us great exposure to innovative ideas from startup businesses that will help further our cause,” Karthik Moorthy, Vice President of Sales & Strategy for Nikai Group of Companies said, adding that the collaboration process with startups would enable the company to gain a valuable perspective on setting up a new business, and harvest energy and resources in developing new business ideas.

Jean-Paul Scheuer, Country Chair & General Manager for Sanofi Gulf Countries, said: “Perpetual innovation is part of Sanofi’s DNA. We are keen and excited about exploring new ideas that we can learn from, and the Market Access platform allows us to do just that. We are confident that this collaboration will result in successful examples that will help further our commitment of empowering the life of patients and the communities at large.”

Launched in 2017, Market Access is a first-of-its-kind programme which aims to enhance cooperation and facilitate deals between innovative startups and SMEs from around the world, and leading companies and government entities in Dubai. In the first cycle of the programme, startups and SMEs were invited to submit innovative ideas and solutions that solve key challenges faced by prominent organisations in Dubai.

Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.