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Dubai to Host First Kauffman Fellowship Summit in the Region

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First Kauffman Fellowship Summit
  • Helal Al Marri: Dubai Future District, a platform that provides opportunities to explore investments, new markets and sectors
  • Essa Kazim: Dubai provides attractive investment opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Khalfan Belhoul: Dubai is a global destination for innovation and emerging economies sectors
  • Jeff Harbach: The UAE is a pioneer in designing the future

Dubai will become the first Middle East and North African (MENA) city to host the illustrious Kauffmann Fellows Summit when Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) brings the globally-renowned nonprofit fellowship program to the emirate on 9 – 12 February 2020, as the emirate fortifies its reputation for convening the world’s top talent to power a knowledge-based economy.

Hosting the summit comes as part of the recently announced “Dubai Future District”, an initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, which seeks to support Dubai’s economy through various projects including the provision of a dedicated fund to promising startups and entrepreneurs. The new district, along with the new fund, will provide greater financing and legislative facilities and options for businesses, further affirming Dubai’s position as an ideal destination for global talents, entrepreneur and investors.

Marking its 25th anniversary, the annual Kauffman Fellowship Summit is set to gather 300 global entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists from over 30 different countries to develop a global network and discuss the innovation, business collaboration and investment climate of the Middle East and the UAE.

The four-day event will feature keynotes, panels, workshops, networking events, and peer-to-peer learning sessions for Fellows to discuss ways to ignite economic growth through innovative enterprise in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Helal Al Marri: Exploring Investment Opportunities, New Markets and Sectors

Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Center and Director General of Dubai Tourism, stressed that hosting this global event under the “Dubai Future District” represents an opportunity to explore investments in Dubai and the world, as well as, identify new global markets and sectors, in addition to highlighting various competitive advantages that Dubai provides to investors, such as offering an ideal environment for launching businesses, developing future innovations, and attracting global talent

Essa Kazim: Dubai Provides Attractive Investment Opportunities in Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

For his part, HE. Essa Kazim, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Center, said that Dubai provides a unique and attractive investment opportunities in areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and advanced technology, stressing the importance of the role of “Dubai Future District” in strengthening local and global partnerships which in return provides support and funding for startups and entrepreneurs to successfully launch their businesses, therefore creating a positive economic leap in various sectors.

Khalfan Belhoul: Dubai, a Global Destination for Innovation and Emerging Economic Markets

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, highlighted, Dubai has always been a magnet for visionaries who can power the new economy with an innovative approach to enterprise. In attracting the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, we are gaining momentum in our drive towards becoming a global hub for future technologies, as well as realizing the outcomes of the “4th of January Document”, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, earlier this year.

He added; “We are pleased to partner with the Kauffman Fellows Summit to bring this prestigious event to the Middle East for the first time. At DFF, and though our many initiatives, including our efforts towards the newly launched “Dubai Future District”, we share a mutual perspective on the Kauffman belief that building enterprise is one of the most effective ways to spur the economy; it chimes with our aim to stimulate an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative start-up ecosystem that can provide solutions to key industries as we fuel economic growth through home-grown initiatives.”

Jeff Harbach: The UAE is a pioneer in designing the future

Jeff Harbach, CEO of Kauffman Fellows, said, The United Arab Emirates is known for inspiring some of the world’s most ambitious projects, ideas, and people. Kauffman Fellows has built the largest global network of investors and innovation leaders that fuel these ambitious ideas. We are thrilled to host our 25th-anniversary Global Summit in Dubai, where we will celebrate our past, and look forward to our future and the future of global innovation in one of the most future-focused cities in the world.

Founded in 1995 by American pharmaceutical entrepreneur Ewing Marion Kauffman, The Kauffman Fellows Program is a two-year venture capital fellowship which today boasts 589 fellows across 46 countries, and who have collectively overseen 7,700 deals since the program’s inception. 100 firms have been founded by Kauffman Fellows.

As Dubai cements it position as a knowledge-based economy, home to a thriving start-up scene fostered by DFF’s new economy-focused initiatives, hosting one of the world’s most revered venture capitalist programs stands to advance the emirate’s economic competitiveness and attractiveness to a range of global players with a proven eye for enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The UAE is well on its path towards a diversified knowledge-based economy that is strengthened by world-class talent to ensure long-term successes for the nation.  Acclimatizing to new economic models and capitalizing on global economic partnerships will lead to the country’s balanced growth and pledge long-term prosperity for current and future generations for years to come.