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TECOM Group, DFF, DDA to enhance innovation ecosystem

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TECOM Group, a member of Dubai Holding and founder of startup-enabling platform in5, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and Dubai Development Authority (DDA) that aims to accelerate the development of Dubai’s innovation ecosystem (DIE). The partnership will strengthen collaboration between the entities, broadening the opportunities available for innovators locally and internationally through strategic programmes.

Khalfan Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Future Foundation; Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group; and Jamal Alsharif, Chief Officer – Business Affairs at Dubai Development Authority, signed the MoU at AREA 2071, a Dubai Future Foundation platform.

Founded by TECOM Group in the heart of its leading business communities, in5 seeks to bridge the support gap for aspiring talent and entrepreneurs in the region across the tech, media and design sectors. Since the inception of the first incubator in Dubai Internet City in 2013, in5 today has more than 180 active startups and helped them raise over Dhs390 million.

This strategic partnership will act as a catalyst for the collaboration between the UAE government entities and startups from around the world as set out by the Dubai Future Agenda, with the objective of developing and implementing futuristic solutions to current challenges.

Dubai Future Foundation will introduce startup members to the in5 platform, which in turn will provide them with simplified business set up and access to creative co-working spaces and specialised state-of-the-art facilities. Startups will be able to be part of the dynamic community of in5 where members have access to mentorship, learning opportunities as well as access to a network of investors and strategic partners.

Speaking on the collaborative agreement, Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group, said: “The new partnership aligns with Dubai’s endeavours to anticipate and prepare for future challenges and turn them into opportunities. Through bringing the brightest minds and the most promising startups from around the world to Dubai and facilitating their synergies with local government entities, we seek to fast-track the development of the innovation ecosystem and enhance the emirate’s position as a global hub for smart government models and future businesses.”

He added: “TECOM Group has always opened new avenues and attracted business partners from across the globe through offering a dynamic and integrated business environment. We also have a track record of enabling entrepreneurs and home-grown success stories to launch from Dubai. Our footprint transcends the technology domain to encompass six other non-oil sectors, including media and design. In line with our efforts to drive innovation and incubate creative ideas, we are honoured to partner with Dubai Future Foundation in implementing our shared vision of building a prosperous future.”

His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation said: “In line with the Foundation’s efforts in positioning Dubai as a hub for innovation, and an ideal destination for startups and talents, this partnership is a step closer towards realising the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s to highlight Dubai as a global incubator for developing advanced solutions, and a platform for partnerships that makes the world a better place for all humanity.”

He added: “A key element of such partnerships is providing support to young eager innovators, as they remain our most viable option in turning the right wheels for further economic growth in our country.”

AREA 2071 serves as a gateway and a platform to design the future, through encouraging creativity, fostering talents as well as attracting local and global partnerships. It is further designed to embody and support the delivery of the UAE Centennial 2071 plan. A physical space, AREA 2071 witnesses several partnerships, between individuals and organisations, to develop new ideas that focus on key challenges, in various sectors, such as aviation, education, energy, entrepreneurship, technology, health and logistics.

Jamal Al Sharif, Chief Officer, Business Affairs, DDA said: “This partnership is an important milestone that aligns with the Authority’s strong legacy of promoting Dubai’s growth backed by a robust regulatory framework. The MoU will help to cement the emirate’s position as one of the world’s leading business hubs and advance its economic diversification strategy by enhancing the ease of doing business.”

in5, an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups, builds on TECOM Group’s success in developing a knowledge- and innovation-based economy in Dubai that started with the founding of Dubai Internet City in 1999, followed by 10 more business communities. The purpose behind establishing in5 is to foster homegrown entrepreneurship and innovation in Dubai, which are key to a stronger and more sustainable economic growth. More than 170 startups that are currently active at in5 enjoy access to over 100 mentors and investors within its network as well as to the wider business community.