Dubai’s crown prince empowers tech startups with crownfunding platform


After displaying enthusiasm for embracing innovative technology, the Emirates has initiated a mission to nurture local talent for building a smart future. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have developed their own ecosystems to provide ideal conditions for startups with fresh ideas to grow via access to funding, digital services and knowhow.

The Emirati capital Abu Dhabi has even roped in global tech titan Microsoft to guide young entrepreneurs in the region via tech tools as well as knowledge. Following this, the country’s evolving smart city Dubai has opened an online window for tech startups to reach out to the local community for their ideas, in a bid for raising funds.

Launched by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan, the crowdfunding platform called Dubai Next will allow aspiring entrepreneurs and students to pitch their ideas directly to the people. This allows them to have a larger pool of investors among those who are most likely to benefit from products or services that they offer.

At least half of the financial resources that a company needs to gain a foothold in the market or launch new offerings, will be available through the portal.

Dubai’s agency for supporting small businesses will also come forward to back startups gaining funds via Dubai Next, by allowing them access to incubators for growth. Dubai SME will further provide digital services and connections needed for global expansion, once the fresh tech firms are up and running.

As Dubai gears up to boost aspirations of local talent, neighbouring Abu Dhabi has selected 16 startups from 11 countries across sectors like AI and blockchain, which will benefit from funding and facilities at Hub71. Apart from this, Emirati agency Khalifa Fund has introduced a platform that connects emerging businesses with regulators, mentors, investors and other firms.

Startups currently make up 40% of UAE’s non-oil economy, and initiatives like Dubai Next are promising to accelerate their growth. Khalifa Fund has also tied up with Microsoft, Etisalat and Amazon to support startups with innovative concepts.

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