LAHORE: Microsoft for Startups Middle East, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), today graduated the latest cohort of tech startups from its GrowthX Accelerator program. The conclusion of the cohort was celebrated during a Demo Day event, hosted at Abu Dhabi’s financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), with attendees including startup founders, government officials, investors, business leaders and stakeholders from the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Run as part of a strategic partnership between ADIO and Microsoft for Startups, GrowthX is specifically designed to empower growth-stage B2B startups ranging primarily from Seed to Series A stages to grow and scale in Abu Dhabi. The program features weekly sessions from Microsoft experts, as well as regional and global leaders in business and technology. The 12 startups in this cohort hail from across the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, and are developing solutions in E-commerce, EdTech, Fintech, HRtech, and Insurtech. The companies in this cohort are Fortyguard, Ilmversity, Klickit, MonSpark, Pisano, Poilabs, Raabtaa, Supercommerce, Vita Virtues, Xina AI, Edraak Systems, and Pay Caps.
Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General at ADIO, said, “The rapid pace of digital transformation is an opportunity to continually find new technological solutions to global challenges. The GrowthX Accelerator is a proven platform to identify and empower innovative startups to achieve scale and impact. We congratulate all the graduates on completing this program and look forward to seeing how they leverage the tools gained to accelerate their growth and enhance the regional startup landscape.”
Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, said, “It has been both inspiring and encouraging to witness the growth and development of each of the startups enrolled into this cohort. They’ve leveraged every opportunity to maximize the potential of their offerings, enhance their skillsets and embrace the support and resources available to empower them to grow and scale their businesses. Together with ADIO, we are proud to have empowered another incredible cohort of startups to showcase their innovative ideas and develop them into real-world solutions, that will strengthen the regional ecosystem and develop our digital economy.”
Investment in tech startups across the UAE and the Middle East continues to grow exponentially as demand for new, creative, and innovative products and solutions continues to rise. Over the past year, venture capital funding in MENA reached $2.6 billion, 138% more than in 2020, according to MAGNiTT. Startups in the UAE accounted for 26% of all deals closed across MENA and 45% of all funding raised across the region in 2021.
The GrowthX Accelerator helps startups develop their offerings and unlock new opportunities for success. The 10-week program offers a variety of group and one-on-one virtual sessions and training on enterprise sales, technical readiness, investor readiness, and customer engagement tactics. Participating startups also work closely with Microsoft to co-create technology solutions that address real challenges facing organizations in the region, and receive support from regional partners including legal assistance from Clara.
Following the conclusion of the program, the startups will also work closely with Masdar City, a GrowthX program partner, who will support the graduating cohort in obtaining business licences and establish operations in Abu Dhabi. The Masdar City Free Zone hosts more than 1,000 companies that benefit from the city’s unique ecosystem of education, R&D, technology startups, incubators, and corporates.
Including the recently concluded cohort, the GrowthX Accelerator has graduated a total of 48 startups since its inception in 2021.