Grace Century, the international research and private equity company based out of Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E., has been working with groups called ‘Venture Clusters’ or ‘Incubators’ in the region.
Ideas that are poised for success rarely make headway out of the starting gate. Venture Clusters aim to change this. Under “one roof”, start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs can find invaluable support with these organizations. It marries a common location environment, sector focus, expertise, and funding.
The idea of access to in-house funding for both seed and “Angel” capital and then secondary capital is just the beginning. Business development professionals work side-by-side with the new firms, and are geared towards global market penetration.
These industry specific mentors provide assistance, insight, and strategy. This is especially helpful if the company plans to go public and interact with regulatory agencies, like the SEC; skill sets or experience not found in every entrepreneur. The “Cluster” typically takes an equity position in the firms, in exchange for the collaboration.
The industries that Grace Century and the “Clusters” have found to be the most interesting and promising are: Education gaming, Water technology, Alternative Energy and Bio-fuels, Food security, and Mobile technology.
Scott Wolf, Director of Research with Grace Century, says, “These emerging industries have their book and future still unwritten. With the expertise and support that these Venture Clusters provide, it creates a win-win scenario for all parties involved.”
He adds, “New firms need every advantage they can get and the incubator model has proven to be invaluable in the equation. It also provides an avenue for University based projects to make it from the classroom or laboratory to Wall Street.”