District 2020 has collaborated with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to support start-ups across the region through its Scale2Dubai entrepreneur programme.
“Together, we will stimulate the growth potential of the region and enable a start-up ecosystem to flourish,” said Dr Nayef Falah M AlHajraf, Secretary-General of the GCC. “We will do this by identifying the most promising companies and giving them District 2020 as a platform.
“Here, they will be exposed to collaborative innovation across key industries and technologies, which will in turn stimulate job creation and drive competition in the wider economy.”
The agreement aims to support the local and regional start-up ecosystem. It recognises the pivotal role of startups and small businesses in driving innovation-led ideas and growth.
“Building partnerships that will reinvigorate economies, fuel prosperity and create better lives for people across the UAE, the region, and the world is Expo 2020’s mission,” said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai. “This pivotal alliance will foster entrepreneurship and give startups and small businesses the opportunity to realise their full potential in a supportive, connecting ecosystem – a powerful launchpad for growth and a demonstration of Expo’s meaningful, long-term legacy.”
District 2020 is bringing together regional and global entities comprising Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, start-ups, academic institutes, labs to curate an ecosystem that is focused on spurring innovation. The GCC will channel to the Scale2Dubai programme high-potential startups and small businesses that are aligned with District 2020’s focus areas.
Scale2Dubai is designed to facilitate a soft landing within Dubai through an easy set up within District 2020. Each year, the equity-free programme is expected to support between 80 and 100 of these businesses, with the first cohort being selected during Expo 2020 Dubai.
It will offer successful applicants two years of free work space, business setup support and guidance needed to scale up, while also providing access to funding, deal flow, networking opportunities and connections with big-name global players such as Siemens, DP World, and Terminus Technologies.