Microsoft today, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), inaugurated the first cohort of its GrowthX Accelerator program in the UAE.
“Abu Dhabi is focused on empowering startups that can create a lasting impact in the digital economy,” said H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. “As a founding partner of GrowthX Accelerator, ADIO is partnering with Microsoft to empower visionary entrepreneurs with the technology, mentoring and market access they need to get off the ground. ADIO’s work with Microsoft will accelerate innovation and boost entrepreneurship, in line with Abu Dhabi’s unwavering commitment to support the private sector.”
As part of a larger strategic partnership between ADIO and Microsoft, GrowthX Accelerator is designed to bridge the gap between corporates and B2B startups across the Middle East and Africa by connecting startups with large corporations. The 12-week program empowers B2B startups with the technology, mentoring and market access they need to solve the corporate partners’ unique challenges and problem statements.
“Startups are now in the driver’s seat to fulfilling their potential through the GrowthX Accelerator. It is exhilarating to facilitate an empowering experience for B2B startups to make the most of the technology, mentoring, and access to the market that this program will provide,” said Roberto Croci, Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups, MEA. “Alongside our partners, we look forward to enabling our first cohort of B2B startups to compete at the highest level, and in hopes of transforming the region into a globally leading hub for technology and entrepreneurship.”
The first cohort consists of 15 startups that will hit the ground running, offering breakthrough solutions that meet corporate clients’ challenges and requirements.
Microsoft for Startups is working with Etihad Airways, Unilever, Flow, Akbank, KPMG and IKEA in the first cohort as Corporate Engagement Partners. B2B startups will work with these partners directly for the duration of the program, to ultimately co-create technology solutions that address the corporate partners’ challenges.