Entrepreneurial Nation's Startup Leap attracts 1,200 startups
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Entrepreneurial Nation’s Startup Leap sees participation from 1,200 startups

Entrepreneurial Nation’s Startup Leap sees participation from 1,200 startups

Startups from 33 countries from sectors such as digital technologies, e-commerce, healthcare and fintech have participated in Startup Leap

Gulf Business
Startups - SMEs - Ahmad-Belhoul-Al-Falasi

The Ministry of Economy announced the results of the final round of the Startup Leap competition, which was launched in November 2021 under the StartUp programme of Entrepreneurial Nation.

Entrepreneurial Nation is the UAE’s largest-ever project aimed at developing the entrepreneurship system and attracting successful and innovative entrepreneurial projects.

The competition, which mainly targeted regional and global startups who wish to set up operations and expand in the UAE, attracted more than 1,200 companies from 33 countries around the world to compete for the opportunity to win the incentive package it offers to the winners.

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “The results of the competition clearly reflect the great interest of startups and projects with pioneering and innovative ideas from various regional and state markets in moving to the UAE to work, prosper, and utilise it as a base for their regional and global expansion.

“Meanwhile, we continue our efforts to establish the UAE as a prime destination for companies and innovative startups that enables entrepreneurs to achieve success and growth in various vital and future sectors. This direction is a key focus area in the wise leadership’s vision and one of the priorities of economic efforts in the coming period.”

Three rounds, 1,2oo applicants

The competition featured a number of rounds since its launch, with 36 candidates shortlisted out of the total 1,200 applicants in the first stage according to specific criteria. In the second stage, 20 candidates or companies from eight countries – the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, the UK, and US – were selected for the final round. These companies operate in a number of new and future economy areas, including digital technologies, modern agriculture technology, and advanced education techniques, clean and renewable energy and green technology, e-commerce, health care, and fintech.

The 20 finalists will receive the opportunity for intensive training in collaboration with leading global companies in a number of empowerment areas that enhance the performance of startups and SMEs.

The training sessions will cover several topics such as understanding venture capital and aligning resources with co-founders’ requirements, development of alternative plans, and employment of digital marketing to accelerate growth. The final round will see the presentations of the 20 shortlisted companies before a jury and consisting representatives of some of the leading business entities, which will select three winners out of the 20 finalists.

Benefits and incentives

There will be a range of incentives and benefits for the three winning companies as well as the final companies nominated by the jury include golden visas for founders, office space, highest levels of training and supervision, media and brand establishment support, business development services, exemption from employee visa costs, employment, and related costs, and support in securing financing and loans.

The selection of participants was based on a number of criteria, which required them to be legally registered; profitable; have at least two founders; and preferably pre-funded. It also requires the co-founders to be willing to move the company’s primary headquarters to the UAE. Besides, the company must be in the operational stage for at least one year, already delivering products or services in the market.

In other news, the UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) will work together to further enable the development of entrepreneurship and strengthen partnerships between SMEs based on an MoU signed recently signed between the two entities.

Read: UAE, South Korea to jointly promote entrepreneurship and support SMEs

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