District 2020’s Scale2Dubai programme invites application from startups

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District 2020, as the human-centric smart city evolving from Expo 2020 Dubai, has announced a number of key partnerships that will contribute to the curation of its innovation ecosystem and its start-up community, coinciding with the annual UAE Innovation week known as UAE Innovates 2021.

District 2020 is bringing together global entities comprising of Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, Startups, Academic Institutes, Labs, Accelerators & VCs to actively curate the business ecosystem that will focus on spurring innovation. And, also it will facilitate collaboration and enable businesses large and small to test and pilot ideas and solutions that will positively advance their industries.

In addition to major global tenants including German giant Siemens, Shanghai-based Terminus Technologies, and DP World, District 2020 has announced new local and international alliances with start-up enabling entities from the UAE and from across international markets, including the USA, UK, Namibia, Slovenia, Malaysia, and Botswana. These latest partners will feed District 2020’s global entrepreneur programme, Scale2Dubai, with a pipeline of eligible international start-ups and small businesses creating a network of local, regional and international start-ups at the heart of the innovation ecosystem.

District 2020’s Scale2Dubai programme has been designed to give high-potential start-ups and small businesses the on-ground support to establish themselves in the UAE within District 2020, as a launchpad from which to access Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) and global markets. Scale2Dubai is an equity-free programme & its benefits include two years of free working space, a two-year visa, business set-up support, access to special rates from service providers, access to social and networking events, and more.

The latest international partnerships between Scale2Dubai and the US-based Founder Institute; British Centres for Business (BCB); Namibia’s Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade; the Slovene Enterprise Fund; Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC); Botswana’s Local Enterprise Authority; as well as UAE-based MAGNiTT, underline District 2020’s commitment to attract and support small businesses and start-ups in the region and around the world. These latest collaborations follow District 2020’s partnerships with key local entities including Dubai SME and the Mohammed Bin Rashed Innovation Fund.

Tala Al Ansari, Director, Innovation Ecosystem & Scale2Dubai Programme, District 2020, said “We are designing an innovation ecosystem and community that will enable businesses at District 2020 to realise their potential. We understand how challenging it is for most businesses to scale in new markets. By studying the challenges faced by start-ups and small businesses, we designed the Scale2Dubai programme to specifically address their needs and support them in their journey. Through our engagement with Scale2Dubai partners who possess vast entrepreneur networks, we are building a global innovation ecosystem and attracting businesses who will become valuable contributors to the growth of the UAE start-up ecosystem and innovation economy”.

The Scale2Dubai programme is currently accepting expressions of interest from local, regional and international start-ups through the District 2020 website: www.district2020.ae/scale2dubai.

The application and short-listing process for Scale2Dubai will open in September 2021, with successful applicants announced during the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai. Those chosen to be part of the programme will be able to move into their workspaces at District 2020 shortly after Expo 2020 closes, when District 2020 opens by October 2022.

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