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DSOA launches Sandbox to support new startups

DUBAI, October 18, 2021

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) has launched Sandbox, the region’s first-of-its-kind startup programme to support early-stage technology startups scale and raise funds.

The 12-month programme aligns with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which positions Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) as a science, technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation, digital economy development and talent generation.

DSOA announced the programme at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) stand at the GITEX Future Starts, the biggest tech-focused start-up event in the Mena region and South Asia.

The programme - run by the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, DSOA’s wholly owned tech hub and coworking space, and the largest of its kind in the Mena region - is open to early-stage startups from MVP to seed stage, with a rolling application process.

Enrolled entrepreneurs will follow a structured curriculum inclusive of theoretical and practical workshops, mentorship sessions and networking opportunities that will help them grow their startups. Dtec has dedicated a funding purse to be invested in promising startups of the programme. Furthermore, Sandbox will focus on wellbeing, work-life balance and human performance.

Recognising the significance of supporting startups in their early stages, Dtec is offering Sandbox participants exclusive company setup rates, equivalent to AED9,500 ($2,586). Designed and structured around delivering timely, relevant and tangible value to founders, based on their needs and requirements, the programme will provide each participant access to leading venture capital funds, and broad services provided by DSOA’s partners worth more than AED550,000.

Six pillars

Sandbox is built on six key pillars: product development, traction, scaling, financial diagnostics, wellbeing and legal support. It also adopts KPI-driven sprints with founders being highly accountable, while creating a vibrant community for emerging entrepreneurs, and hosting expert speakers and professionals.

Startups enrolled in the programme will benefit from 200+ hours of practical workshops and 100+ hours of one-on-one mentorship from practitioners and field-experts. Entrepreneurs will also have access to a full suite of diagnostic tools for financial efficiency and legal compliance, ensuring they maintain a strong position that allows them to attract necessary investments and funds. With the backing of Dtec Ventures, Sandbox builds on the existing vibrant community of emerging entrepreneurs in Mena’s largest tech hub, Dtec.

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said: “Providing a comprehensive ecosystem for investments and an enabling incubator for entrepreneurs and startups in Dubai is an essential component of DSOA’s strategy, in line with its position as a hub for innovation and knowledge within the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.”

“The launch of the Sandbox startup programme coincides with the Projects of the 50, a strategic set of initiatives that will lay the foundations for a new development cycle in various economic sectors. All these projects position the nation as a destination for talents, skilled individuals, entrepreneurs, startup founders, innovators and investors.

 “Dubai Silicon Oasis, and its wholly owned Dtec, have extensive experience as a tech hub and an incubator for entrepreneurs and startups, supporting them in transforming their innovative ideas into reality and empowering them in securing financing. The programme is the first of its kind in the region, founder-centric, addressing a gap in early-stage initiatives. It will help position Dubai and the wider UAE as a global destination for promising entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as investors,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




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