In a major boost to the UAE’s vibrant startup ecosystem, Microsoft has announced that applications for its highly anticipated GrowthX Accelerator Program are now open.
The GrowthX Accelerator was announced in January, as part of a larger strategic partnership between Microsoft and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate opportunities in the emirate for startups. The GrowthX program is designed to bridge the gap between corporates with challenges and startups with solutions, and empowers B2B startups with the technology, mentoring, and market access they need to thrive in the new global digital economy
Roberto Croci, Microsoft for Startups Managing Director, MEA mentioned “Across the region, Microsoft customers across all industries and sizes are hungry for innovative solutions that will empower them to compete in what is now a truly global digital economy. The global Microsoft for Startups program was created to support the creators of these solutions and connect them with the technology and purposeful partnerships they need to succeed. Our work with Abu Dhabi Investment Office on the GrowthX Accelerator program will lay important groundwork for that vision in the region by working to transform Abu Dhabi and the region into a global technology and entrepreneurship hub.”
Abu Dhabi continues to be a world leader in providing a nurturing environment for startups. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2020’ Index ranks the country 16th out of 190 nations, and its ‘Ease of Doing Business Subnational Report 2020’ has placed the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 12th globally. Microsoft for Startups GrowthX Accelerator will empower B2B startups across the region, by providing access to Microsoft’s ecosystem of customers and partners, and by leveraging the benefits that Abu Dhabi offers technology companies. Through intense community engagement, the program engenders connections and brings innovators together to learn, grow, become investor-ready and better engage corporates in the region.
GrowthX will include virtual and physical workshops and training, as well as a series of “demo days” and networking events where startups can showcase their visions to both venture capitalists and Microsoft’s regional customers. In the first 12-week phase, Microsoft will recruit 15 startups from across the region that solve the corporate challenges of its partners.
Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO commented “Startups are essential to any economy, they catalyse innovation and new technologies that drive tremendous impact for all. Abu Dhabi is focused on creating a nurturing environment for startups and acting as a launchpad for them to bring fresh ideas to life here, make the most of opportunities across the region and scale globally. As the founding partner of the GrowthX Accelerator, we are excited to work with Microsoft to unlock Abu Dhabi and the region’s rich economic potential and empower these homegrown innovators with the tools they need in order to succeed in the new digital economy.”