Announcing the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in Partnership with GINCO 2019 class!

I am thrilled to announce our second class: the ten companies joining the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in Partnership with GINCO. We are proud to be MENA’s top accelerator program by initial check size, in-program benefits, and follow-on funding, and to build on our momentum as the most prestigious accelerator program in MENA with the announcement of our new class of companies.

We kick off the program on January 20, and our Demo Day grand finale is on April 17, 2019. We are looking forward to three months of world class programming, helping startups reach their potential and scale fast, in what promises to be a transformative experience for our founders.

Our one and only goal is to support and grow these 10 incredible companies. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and strong partners and mentors help make this happen. The next 90 days will be filled with mentoring, pitching, and growth!

Through our strong commitment to diversity, we attract global talent, with founders representing over 13 nationalities and mentors from all over the world. This year, we attracted companies from eight countries, including United States, Turkey, Hong Kong, Germany, Jordan, the Netherlands, and United Arab Emirates. Our location at AREA 2071—Dubai’s premier Innovation hub and experimentation space for governments, multinationals, and startups to design and implement global solutions with human-scale impact—furthers this commitment.

I would like to thank our associates, mentors, sponsors, partners, and alumni for their generous support and amazing energy. Special thanks to the team at GINCO for their true commitment to the success of our partnership.

Without further ado, I have the pleasure of announcing the second class of 2019 companies in Techstars Dubai Accelerator in Partnership with GINCO:

  •     Buglance is a crowd testing platform for testing mobile apps, games, and mobile sites, led by a UAE based Azeri team.
  •     Clara is a legal operating system that digitizes and automates startup legal expertise, led by a UAE based Canadian team.
  •     Element 16 has developed a new thermal battery, which is similar to a conventional battery but stores high-temperature heat instead of electricity, led by a California-based team.
  •     LuggAgent offers same day luggage delivery to or from airports and hotels in over 70 top tourism cities, founded by a Taiwanese team based in Hong Kong.
  •     Nestrom is a software company specializing in technologies for field service management, led by a Jordanian team.
  •     Ottogee is the world’s smartest IoT-enabled solution for labor-intensive industries, led by a Texas-based Lebanese-American team.
  •     Three Wheels United uses innovative technology and finance to enable sustainable last mile transportation, based out of India and led by a Cameroonian CEO.
  •     VeePlay is the most advanced player for in-app video monetization, led by a German team.
  •     Vivoo is the first personal wellness assistant in the world that takes real data from your body and gives personalized nutrition and wellness advice to you, based on your urine sample analysis, led by a Turkish CEO.
  •     Yacob empowers and inspires children to lead a healthier, more active life, led by an Emirati founder.

2019 Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO: Apply Now!

After its successful debut in 2018, the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO will host its second class in 2019 starting on 20th of January and Demo Day held on the 18th of April. Our second year of operation will continue the world class mentorship-driven programming in partnership with GINCO Investments and will be located at the brand new facilities of the Dubai Future Foundation’s Area 2071, a visionary government initiative, at the iconic Emirates Towers.

Our program is agnostic to any industry sectors and has a special theme around ‘Smart Cities’. Our definition of ‘Smart Cities’ is broad: covering enterprise software, logistics, mobility, industrial, e-commerce, smart energy and environment that are scalable anywhere in the world.

We are looking for exceptional founders, from all corners of the globe, who may be enterprise-ready or not, but are nevertheless tackling the mundane to the big, important problems with the use of disruptive solutions.

Founders that are developing leading edge technology for future smart cities, and the use of applications such as IOT, artificial intelligence, virtual or augmented reality, big data, machine vision, blockchain, or even quantum physics are encouraged to apply.

You can start your application now, but stay tuned for more information about how to meet us during our upcoming meet and greet trips. Also, be sure to join our webinar where I will tell you more about the program. We ideally want to meet you in person or via video if possible and want to use that time to learn more about your company. I look forward to listening to your pitches.

My Next Adventure! Managing Director for Techstars Dubai

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a new challenge – fresh out of my role as CEO at the Entrepreneurs Organization, I’m joining Techstars as the managing director for the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO. Here are the reasons why I decided to uproot my life in Washington D.C. to move to Dubai for Techstars:

A Thirst for Learning

Being a serial entrepreneur myself, I have had my fair share of hits and misses. I’m learning from past experiences and constantly seeking knowledge in emerging industries, especially from budding entrepreneurs.

I want to master the art of investing; I want to learn how to identify top companies and top entrepreneurs. I’m confident that we will be able to build a portfolio of great companies that come through the Techstars Dubai Accelerator, but it’s not a task I can complete on my own. I acknowledge the need to the leverage the awesome collectiveness of my Techstars team, peers and mentors to succeed.

The world is rapidly changing before our eyes, fueled by unprecedented innovation and disruption across many sectors. Techstars will provide me the opportunity to broaden my horizons.

Dubai: The Center of Innovation

Techstars is excited to partner with GINCO because of their focus on driving innovation in the region to align with the UAE Centennial 2071 initiatives. GINCO is a full service general contracting firm, covering the full lifecycle of the construction process from concept to execution and supervision.

Dubai is known for their leadership in technology innovation, so GINCO is looking for pioneering entrepreneurs leading innovative companies that are solving challenges in transportation, construction, wellness, IoT, robotics, and beyond.

I am thrilled to be at the center of all this. I have lived intermittently in Dubai over the past 20 years and have family connections here. I have seen the unbelievable transformation from a small desert town to a global hub for trade, banking, tourism, aviation, ports and logistics, as well as the host to mega events like EXPO 2020.

#GiveFirst: Mentoring Entrepreneurs

Mentoring entrepreneurs is a self fulfilling prophecy. I have found that mentoring is a two-way street; the mentor and the mentee are both benefiting from the exchange. It keeps me real and true to my values.

Many managing directors and mentors will agree how satisfying it is to see founders learn and grow rapidly within the program and beyond. I get a kick out out it when I see the impact it has emotionally, psychologically and professionally.

I’m looking forward to living the Techstars #givefirst lifestyle everyday, and building and leading a group of ace mentors.

Techstars: It’s a Smart Move

I spent the past few weeks visiting the headquarters Techstars office in Boulder and programs in Paris and Berlin. I am so fortunate to have Ramzy Ismail, an experienced and a rock-solid Program Director, as my right hand man. I can’t do it without him.

Everyone I have met has been exceptional in welcoming me and supporting my Techstars journey. I want to make a special mention of thanks to Greg Rogers and Jenny Lawton, who tip the scale for me moving forward.

I am delighted and honored to be part of the Techstars family and launch the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO. Applications close October 15, so be sure to apply!