Techstars Dubai in partnership with GINCO Demo Day Showcases 2019 Class of 10 ‘Smart Cities’ Companies

  • The companies have raised over $13M, representing the most successful accelerator program in MENA
  • 35 founders from 13 countries were hosted for the program duration at Dubai’s Future Foundation’s AREA 2071
  • It was announced that the 10 companies will receive long-term 5 year visas from the Dubai Future Foundation to remain in the UAE.

 

DUBAI – Ten technology startups from around the world building innovative companies showcased their products and stories on Wednesday, April 17th at “Demo Day” at the Four Seasons Hotel at Jumeirah Beach. In its second year of the program, a partnership between Techstars and GINCO Investments, the investment arm of GINCO Group, has been ongoing in the brand new AREA 2071, the international innovation ecosystem space launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, located in Emirates Towers.  

Notably in attendance were the CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, His Excellency Khalfan Juma Belhoul as well as virtually by Mr. Mohammed Gheyath, CEO of GINCO Investments, along with official representatives from the government and private sector.

CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, His Excellency Khalfan Juma Belhoul announced that the 10 startups in the program will receive long-term visas from the Dubai Future Foundation to continue pursuing their business and contribute to the region’s economic growth.

Founders from each company took center stage at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai and pitched their business to hundreds of investors, mentors, and Dubai’s tech and startup community.

During the 13-week accelerator program, the 10 companies worked closely with more than 90 mentors from the Dubai’s ecosystem and beyond to further develop their business models, go-to market strategies and scale. 

Over the course of the program, the companies met with more than 25 company founders and investors, took part in more than 20 workshops and conducted around 1,000 meetings. 

It was announced during Demo Day that many of the startups landed pilot projects during their time in the accelerator, and others are in the works. As a result of the program, five of the companies are maintaining a presence in Dubai with a focus on Tech, Legal Tech, Food Tech, and IoT for Construction and Service Execution Management.

Vijay Tirathrai, Managing Director at Techstars states: “We are extremely proud to witness the acceleration of such a promising batch of companies that were selected this year. In 3 months, $13.8M USD has been raised or committed collectively by the companies. We’ve seen impressive partnership tie-ups with some of the leading companies across many industries, extensive customer acquisition and promising potential for continued growth among the companies.”

“With our partners at Techstars, we set out to prove that Dubai can attract and develop exceptional startup talent from all over the world. Over the past 13 weeks our founders raised capital, shipped product, and built incredible businesses that we look forward to supporting along their entrepreneurial journeys” said Mohammed Gheyath, CEO of GINCO Investments.

In addition to the lifelong support of Techstars and the Gheyath family, the companies have gained access to $2m in perks provided by partners such as Amazon Web Services, SendGrid, Dentons, and others. The companies have joined a family of over 1600 Techstars companies who have collectively reached over $17 Billion in market capitalization. 

Notable advancements in the 10 companies that pitched were: 

  • Buglance is a UAE-based crowd testing company that connects software testers with software development companies all over the world. Pitched by CEO Toghrul Samadov, the company has over 30,000 testers that use over 4,000 unique devices. They have closed $500,000 USD Seed 1 stage funding and are extending the seed funding by another $500,000. They have doubled revenue every quarter for the last 5 quarters, and grown from $10,000 MRR to $20,000 MRR in the last 3 months. 
  • Clara is a UAE-based SaaS platform that digitises and automates startup legal expertise. Clara empowers founders to efficiently set up and manage their legal structure to ensure their startup’s venture-readiness while providing unmatched portfolio management and market intelligence to investors. Pitched by CEO Patrick Rogers, an experienced startup law firm founder and lawyer, Clara has investor commitments of $2.5M for their seed round that was raised in just 4 weeks. They have commitments to run pilots with 15 accelerators, VC firms and channel partners. Techstars has committed to pilot the Clara solution with the on-boarding of the London and Singapore program classes in Summer 2019.
  • Element 16 is a US-based company that improves energy efficiency at industrial processing facilities with heat storage technology. Pitched by CEO Parker Wells, they signed a master work agreement with their first industrial processing company in the GCC and are designing their first 1,000+ ton heat storage unit, which can replace the carbon emissions footprint of 20,000 cars. To date they have received over $3M in grant funding.
  • LuggAgent is a Hong Kong-based global concierge that offers the luxury of time and freedom. It started with the goal of eliminating the burden of luggage hassles so travellers can focus on achieving their travelling goals. Pitched by CEO Lance Lin, they currently operate in 80 cities across the world, having delivered over 50,000 bags in total, with 0 lost bags. They are in the process of adding airline check in and airport baggage claim system to their offering to provide a seamless travel experience. 
  • Nestrom, based in Jordan with a presence in UAE, is a cloud based platform that enables data capture and actioning from field operations. Whether data is captured through digitized mobile forms or IoT sensors, Nestrom captures the data, actions it then provides insights on performance. Pitched by CEO Yousef Wadi, a serial entrepreneur, the company was selected as one of the 2019 Top 100 Arab Startups Shaping the 4th Industrial Revolution at the World Economic Forum. Already working with such brands as Starbucks and H&M, they are in the process of finalizing 7 major deals with UAE and regional companies in hospitality, inspections, property management and inspection service providers. 
  • Ottogee, based in the US with a presence in the UAE, provides IoT wearables for Industrial applications in Construction, Oil & Gas, Security and Manufacturing. Ottogee advanced data analytics enable workers and stakeholders to have real-time insights that optimize safety and productivity and reduce cost to unprecedented levels. Pitched by CEO Omar Ghazzaoui, they have 4 initiated projects in the UAE and the US. They are collecting more than 250,000 data points per month. Ottogee have been approved by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) to scale their cellular enabled technology across UAE. They have also established partnerships with telecom companies expanding in IoT services space in the region and US, as well as strengthening their relationship with UAE’s biggest and most innovative construction companies such as Arabtec, Khansahab, and AASA.
  • Three Wheels United is an India-based tech enabled lender poised to become India’s leading financier for electric, income-generating assets, unlocking a global lending opportunity worth $225B. Currently, they are financing electric tuk-tuks in India and have reduced default rates to an industry leading 1%. Pitched by Head of Business Development, Rosemary Pierce – Messick, Three Wheels United have grown their operations from two to four cities in India. They have pivoted to a SaaS business model in order to serve other markets and have attracted capital to lend and created a debt structure of $7M USD committed debt. They have also secured commitments of $800,000 with $145,000 of this from Techstars and Google Impact Fund.
  • Veeplay is a Germany-based company that empowers media companies and video content owners to take control over their video strategy by helping them stream, secure and monetize their inventory. Pitched by CEO Sebastian Vaduva, they have clients such as Germany’s leading media companies ProSieben and Sport1, Wetter.de and US-based Shopkick. They have experienced a 40% revenue lift in the past 24 months and more than 5 billion total delivered streams, equaling $150M in revenue for their clients. 
  • Vivoo is a Palo Alto, California-based wellness app that provides personalized nutrition and lifestyle advice to the users based on their weekly home urine tests. Pitching CEO Miray Tayfun has grown its user base 20x in just 3 months, partnered with the likes of Bayer Pharmaceuticals and UAE-based health insurance company, Bayzat. They have delivered over 2,000 strips to users, and in total over 6,000 urine analyses have been done. 
  • YACOB is a UAE-based SaaS POS platform that enables food tracking and online payments in closed food ecosystems. It measures and reports the nutritional intake of users with the objective of instilling healthy lifelong eating habits. The pitching CEO, Faisal Al Hammadi is an Emirati serial entrepreneur. YACOB will launch in Riyadh, KSA in Q4 2019 with a pilot program in 4 schools. The platform currently processes 10,000 meals a day across 45 schools in the UAE.

About Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO 

Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO is expanding Techstars’ presence in the Middle East. Dubai is known for their leadership in technology innovation. Pioneering entrepreneurs leading innovative companies solving challenges in transportation, construction, wellness, IoT, robotics, & beyond should apply, no matter your location. 

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners who will help their companies grow.  Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs help founders do more faster and Techstars Startup Programs inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships helps brands supercharge growth by accelerating innovation and cultural transformation. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,700 companies with a market cap of $22 Billion. 

About GINCO Group

GINCO is a company of engineers founded in 1975 by Mr. Gheyath Mohammad Gheyath. Operating out of 5 branches across the Middle East, the GINCO Group of Companies employs over 4000 staff representing 13 nationalities. GINCO is a full service general contracting firm, covering the full lifecycle of the construction process from concept to execution and supervision. GINCO works with the best known brands in the Middle East, including Dubai Municipality, Emaar, Dubai Properties, WASL, and Nakheel, among others. GINCO Group launched GINCO Investments to focus on supporting and nurturing the local SME community and empowering entrepreneurs with global ambitions. 

About Dubai Future Foundation

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Dubai Future Foundation in April 2016, an independent research think tank based on the Dubai Future Agenda. Where the Foundation plays a pivotal role in shaping the future vision and industry of Dubai. Dubai Future Agenda focuses on supporting and developing individuals and institutions to achieve leadership and precedence for the UAE and Dubai, by supporting networking and collaboration with international and emerging research companies and institutions. The foundation brings together individuals, organizations and government entities to share that vision, to agree strategy and to implement the reality. It also, provides an environment in which ideas can take hold and take flight through incubating & prototyping.

 








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.







Techstars Meet and Greet Chicago

DESCRIPTION

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,200 companies grow and raise over $4 billion in funding, with a market cap of $10 billion. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We currently have applications open for Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs around the world. Join our program staff for an evening of networking, Q&A, and a chance to show us what you’re currently working on. They will be there to connect with you, inspire you, answer your questions and tell you more about our programs.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

  • 7:00pm – Doors open, food and drinks served
  • 7.30pm – Techstars Presentation
  • 8.00pm – Question Time
  • 8.15pm – Open Networking

    Event ends 9.00pm







Techstars Meet and Greet New York

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,200 companies grow and raise over $4 billion in funding, with a market cap of $10 billion. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We currently have applications open for Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs around the world. Join our program staff for an evening of networking, Q&A, and a chance to show us what you’re currently working on. They will be there to connect with you, inspire you, answer your questions and tell you more about our programs.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

  • 7:00pm – Doors open, food and drinks served
  • 7.30pm – Techstars Presentation
  • 8.00pm – Question Time
  • 8.15pm – Open Networking

    Event ends 9.00pm







AMA with Techstars Dubai in Partnership with GINCO Managing Director, Vijay Tirathrai

Join the Techstars Dubai in Partnership with GINCO team to learn more about the program, the type of companies we are looking for and the endless opportunities to work with Dubai community of investors, mentors and government officials.








Build Your Company With Us in Dubai – From CEO of GINCO Investments, Mohammed Gheyath

Type “Dubai” into a search box, and the images that first come up are of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It is surrounded by shopping malls, fountains, and residential and business towers that stretch to the horizon in all directions. When I was a kid, our family would drive for an hour on the desert to go camping to the very same location.

Since our independence in 1971, our small country has grown by investing in education and welcoming foreigners who were looking to create cities of the future.

It is no wonder that over 80 percent of the residents of our country come from other places. From Korea to California, entrepreneurs from around the world come to build in the UAE. Since our roots as a steel factory in 1975, started by my father Gheyath Mohammed, we have always maintained a small business hustle and grit, welcoming experts from around the world to help build our humble pearl fishing town into the metropolis it is today.

With the world’s greatest airports, hotels, malls, and shipping ports underpinning our infrastructure, it is time for our country to welcome the next generation of entrepreneurs to help us build a knowledge-based future.

Together with our partners at Techstars, we aim to inspire our youth, invest in entrepreneurs around the world, and build the next global startup hub. We are eternally grateful to the founders of our first class, who helped us lay the foundation of what has been called by the press, ‘the best startup accelerator program in the Middle East’. You can learn a bit more about them here:

Our goal is to improve as investors and ecosystem builders. We can’t do it alone – and we cordially invite those who dare to dream with us to apply to our program at https://bit.ly/apply-dxb

Why apply to our program:

  • Your time with us will be spent at the epicenter of public/private innovation in the Middle East at Emirates Towers in Area 2071, the co-working facility anchored by our program, IBM, Pfizer, Emirates Airlines, E&Y, IDEO, and Dubai’s 10X government innovation initiative.
  • We take Mentor Madness very seriously and welcome mentors not just from the region, but from around the world to help you build a durable fast growing company.
  • We care personally. We are a family business and with our investment into you as a team is an invitation to join our growing international family: https://www.ginco.investments/portfolio/
  • Dubai is home to the world’s busiest air and shipping ports. Global financial institutions who host their regional headquarters at Dubai International Financial Center, across the street from our coworking facility.
  • Our program starts in January with a high of 25C and low of 15C – giving you plenty of opportunity to enjoy pools and beaches during your weekends and rooftops with amazing vistas of our concrete jungle by night.

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, our inbox is always open to founders who are interested in spending time with us in Dubai. Reach us at hello@ginco.investments








Techstars Meet and Greet Los Angeles

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 11 years we have helped over 1,500 companies grow and raise over $5.5 billion in funding, with a market cap of $13.9 billion. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We currently have applications open for Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs around the world. Join our program staff for an evening of networking, Q&A, and a chance to show us what you’re currently working on. They will be there to connect with you, inspire you, answer your questions and tell you more about our programs.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

  • 5:00pm – Doors open, food and drinks served
  • 5.30pm – Techstars Presentation
  • 6.00pm – Question Time
  • 6.15pm – Open Networking

    Event ends 7.00pm

ALREADY KNOW THAT TECHSTARS IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOU?
Apply for Office Hours, a 30-minute session on the day of, the day before or after the Meet and Greet Event, where you meet one-on-one with








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.








STEP Start Conference

Vijay Tirathrai, Managing Director of Techstars Dubai will be in attendance

Click here for more information








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!