The Ministry of Economy announced the results of the final round of the Startup Leap competition launched in November 2021 under the StartUp program of the Entrepreneurial Nation, the country’s largest-ever project aimed at developing the entrepreneurship system and attracting successful and innovative entrepreneurial projects.
During the announcement of the results, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, confirmed that the UAE has succeeded in enhancing its position as a preferred destination for innovative, leading startups and SMEs in the region and the world, thanks to the vision and support of its wise leadership.
He added that the country continues to develop its economy in order to become the destination of choice for entrepreneurship and attract outstanding startups from various markets around the world, in accordance with a clear vision and integrated strategies derived from the goals and principles of the 50.
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.
H.E. Al Falasi explained “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 utilize 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.”
The Ministry explained that 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 8 countries – the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, the UK, and USA – were selected for the final round by the Ministry. 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 chaired by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, and consisting representatives of some of the leading business entities, which will select three winners out of the 20 finalists.
The Ministry added that the range of incentives and benefits awaiting 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.