DUBAI, UAE, (Gulf News Report) – Microsoft, on Monday called for regional startups to act now and register their applications for its GrowthX Accelerator programme before the July 7 deadline, as interest in the initiative continued to surge across the region.
Hailed as a major boost to the UAE’s vibrant startup ecosystem, Microsoft’s GrowthX Accelerator – announced in January and opened for registrations in May – is part of a larger strategic partnership between the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Microsoft to accelerate opportunities in the emirate for startups.
“Startups catalyse innovation and pioneer technologies that have the potential to create positive and lasting societal impact,” said Dr Tariq Bin Hendi, director-general of ADIO. “Recognising the advantages offered by startups, Abu Dhabi creates a nurturing environment for these businesses as they develop their ideas, and acts as a launchpad for their growth, both locally and globally. As founding partner of GrowthX Accelerator, we are excited to work with Microsoft to bring startups and corporations together, unlocking opportunities for innovative businesses at all stages of growth.”
The GrowthX Accelerator will include virtual and physical workshops and training sessions, as well as a series of VC demo days, corporate access days, and networking events where startups can showcase their visions to venture capitalists and Microsoft’s regional customers. For the first cohort, which will be running from August to November, Microsoft will recruit 15 startups from across the region that solve the corporate challenges of its partners.
Microsoft for Startups has already announced that Etihad Airways, Unilever, Akbank, and KPMG will be participating in the first cohort as Corporate Engagement Partners, with a few more partner announcements to come. The program will recruit specialised B2B startups to work with these partners directly for the duration of the program, to ultimately co-create technology solutions that address the corporate partners’ challenges.
“GrowthX Accelerator empowers B2B startups with the technology, mentoring and market access they need to thrive in the new global digital economy,” said Roberto Croci, managing director, Microsoft for Startups, MEA.
“Across the region, Microsoft sees customers eager for innovative solutions that will empower them to compete. Our work with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office on GrowthX Accelerator is set to transform Abu Dhabi and the region into a global hub for technology and entrepreneurship.”