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Dubai Future Accelerators Defies COVID-19 Odds to Host the Fall Cohort, Seeks to Find Solutions That Reimagine the Post-Pandemic World

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Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), announced that the second phase of the eighth edition of its flagship program is well underway with the aim of positioning Dubai as a leading city of the future. Being hosted at DFF’s innovation ecosystem, AREA 2071, the Fall Cohort’s participating entities include: Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Etisalat Digital and Dubai Municipality. The program tackles challenges around the future of transport, energy, healthcare, and digital technologies with a focus on solutions and new business models for a post-COVID-19 world.

The first phase of the two-phase program ran virtually over a four-week period between November 1 and 26, 2020, culminating in the participating entrepreneurs pitching their customized proposals to a panel of expert judges. 20 startups and companies advanced to phase 2 and they come from 11 different countries, including Canada, Estonia, France, Singapore, Germany, the USA, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

In phase two, the cohort entities work closely with the startups to further understand the technologies and design and implement pilots that will allow them to explore these new business models in the context of their industries. The startups will get the opportunity to showcase innovations in different sectors as well as demonstrate how these new solutions offer new possibilities to existing challenges.

Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and COO of DFF

Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Hosting the Fall Cohort following an unprecedented year of challenges is a proof point to the Foundation and specifically the Accelerator Program’s commitment, level of resilience and adaptability. The world is limping back to a new semblance of normal, and it seemed only fitting to tailor this cycle’s challenges to improvements across sectors in the post-COVID-19 world. The participation has been top-notch this year, despite the exceptional circumstances, and we look forward to witnessing the pilots that will once again underscore the strategic advantage of Dubai as a global test-bed for cutting-edge ideas that shape tomorrow’s world.”

Aside from a curated program that includes ecosystem engagement sessions, mentorships and cultural activities; DFA aims to create an impactful experience for all the participants. It is uniquely positioned to offer startups the most efficient access to decision-makers in the government of Dubai to showcase and experiment with their innovative solutions. On top of that, DFA is a zero-equity program; in fact, selected startups are fully sponsored for the entire duration of the program with accommodation and roundtrip flights. 

Much like Dubai, DFA offers startups the opportunity to access a potential market of two billion people to scale up their solutions. While working with the entity partner to solve the specific challenges, startups can explore the business potential of Dubai and weigh the opportunity to setup locally. They also gain an understanding of the local startup ecosystem and the business culture of Dubai. Furthermore, the program helps startups with business development and networking, connecting them with business councils and investors, and offering them access to AREA 2071’s ecosystem partners.

By the end of the program, DFA will host a demo day where the startups showcase their pilots and proof of concepts. Investors, potential clients, partners and other ecosystem stakeholders would be able to attend, witness and network with the startups to further understand their innovations and business models and explore potential areas of collaboration.

To learn more about the current challenges set by the government entities, as well as, regularly be updated with future challenges and programmes hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation, please visit: https://staging.dubaifuture.ae/programs/

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