| 1 December 2021, Wednesday |

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority rolls out new programme to support early stage start-ups

In a step to support early stage tech start-ups scale and raise funds, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has launched a new one-year programme called Sandbox.

The programme is open to start-ups that have only a minimum viable product to those in the seed stage and will have a rolling application process, Dubai Media Office said in a statement on Sunday.

Entrepreneurs will follow a structured curriculum, which will include a theoretical and practical workshops, mentorship sessions and networking opportunities.

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus is a wholly owned unit of DSOA that offers co-working spaces, business accelerators and R&D facilities to start-ups. It will also have a dedicated funding purse to invest in promising companies enrolled in the programme.

“The programme is the first of its kind in the region, founder-centric, addressing a gap in early-stage initiatives. It will help position Dubai and the wider UAE as a global destination for promising entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as investors,” Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice chairman and chief executive of DSOA, said.

Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of the Middle East, has introduced various initiatives to support the growth of start-ups. The emirate will host a key summit in January next year as it seeks to attract more venture capitalists to fund start-ups.

The latest initiative by DSOA will provide each participant access to venture capital funds and broad services offered by its partners worth more than Dh550,000. The start-ups that are part of Sandbox will also be eligible for company setup rates, equivalent to Dh9,500, the statement also said.

Sandbox is also built on a KPI-driven approach, with “founders being highly accountable, while creating a vibrant community for emerging entrepreneurs and hosting expert speakers and professionals”.

It will have six pillars, including product development, traction, scaling, financial diagnostics, well-being and legal support, DSOA said.