Global Startups Win Chance To Collaborate On New Pilot Projects With Dubai’s Public And Private Sector
Six startups have won collaboration opportunities with Emirates NBD, Accenture, Sumitomo Corporation and Emirates Post Group, as part of Dubai Startup Hub’s Market Access Programme.
Market Access, one of Dubai Startup Hub’s flagship programmes, is designed to facilitate partnerships between corporates and startups. The programme offers annual membership to corporates with access to a series of dedicated matchmaking events held throughout the year.
Even amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the third cohort of Market Access – held virtually, unlike previous editions – saw applications from 148 startups across 21 countries, marking a 105% increase compared to earlier cohorts this year.
Around 75 percent of total applications came from outside the UAE, with Egypt accounting for the largest number of submissions, followed by the UAE, India and Lebanon.
The winning startups were selected from a pool of 14 shortlisted candidates that pitched business concepts and solutions addressing existing challenges for the respective corporate members.
The shortlisted candidates also received two weeks of business training and tailored support.
During the final pitching and matchmaking rounds held on September 27 and 29, Emirates NBD selected Verismart, an identity blockchain platform automating data access control between enterprises. Meanwhile, Sumitomo Corporation will collaborate with health-tech startup Healthigo and Emirates Post Group picked logistics provider CamCom. Additionally, Accenture opted to collaborate with three startups – NEARMOTION and Intuito, providers of digital navigation solutions, as well as Gokaddal, a developer of innovative soft and hardware solutions to enhance health and safety of travellers.
The startups will work on innovative new pilot projects to develop solutions related to travel technology, health security, third-party payments and logistics, telemedicine, third-party administration, digital banking and credit scoring.
Natalia Sycheva, Manager of Entrepreneurship at Dubai Chamber, said the third cohort of Market Access coincided with an uptick in business activity within Dubai’s entrepreneurship ecosystem as Covid-19 has led more companies to prioritise digital transformation, a key area of strength and expertise for startups.
She added that the quality of applications also improved during the period, and that the record participation in the programme reflects Dubai’s strengthening position as a preferred hub and land of opportunity for innovative startups from around the world.
By organising the third cohort in a digital format, Sycheva said Market Access was able to reach and attract more international startups with a strong interest in entering the Dubai market, and that the programme itself has evolved considerably in 2020 and now serves as an ideal platform for startups looking for partnerships that can help them scale and boost market exposure.
On the other hand, she noted that corporates are leveraging the same platform as a source of innovation offering high-tech solutions in key areas where they need support.
Established by Dubai Chamber in 2016, Dubai Startup Hub is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region. The initiative is designed to emphasis the value of public and private sector collaboration and embodies the aim of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship as a main driver of the economy of Dubai and the UAE.