Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tech titan Microsoft jumps aboard to make Abu Dhabi a regional startup hub

Startups have been at the forefront of innovation that has powered a global digital revolution in the past decade. From mobility, to social networking, hospitality and communication, startups have not just capitalised on new offerings, but have also created an ecosystem for talented people to grow.

The Emirates’ journey towards becoming a regional tech hub with smart services has been empowered by startups with digital tools for daily activities including transportation, healthcare and gaming. Beyond providing a space with high-speed connectivity and AI solutions, the Emirates is taking things to another level by roping in tech giant Microsoft to nurture budding ventures with its expertise.

Abu Dhabi’s investment fund ADIO has tied up with the global tech firm and another entity called Plug & Play, to create a go to destination for aspiring entrepreneurs where they find funding, guidance and top notch tech support. Microsoft will bring in Azure’s cloud capabilities as well as business acceleration tools into the mix, and it’ll welcome regional startups on board for future collaborations with ADIO.

Plug & Play acts as a platform which connects governments, local startups and global tech firms to craft initiatives that empower other businesses with innovative ideas. Microsoft is also looking to take things beyond entrepreneurs and reach out to Emirati students for digging up and polishing regional talent.

Abu Dhabi on its part has been clinching every opportunity for integrating smart tech into public service, and has also established the world’s first AI university to prepare its own set of whiz kids. Being proactive in identifying growing sectors like online gaming, Abu Dhabi has inked deals with overseas firms for a space where gaming startups get every tool needed to script success stories like PubG or Fortnite.

Startups in the Middle East had a bright year despite covid gloom, as funding went up by 13%, while the demand for online tools also increased thanks to remote working and home entertainment gaining ground.

Image: Shutterstock

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