According to business analysts, Dubai plays a special role for the development of startups. Advanced infrastructure, existing financial support programs, carefully thought-out legislative framework, intellectual property protection – all this attracts young entrepreneurs. Incubators in Dubai play a special role in the development of entrepreneurship, which provide a whole range of services, without which it is difficult to imagine the organization of business processes in this country.
What is a startup incubator?
For providing assistance to small businesses, it is necessary to use special programs that are commonly called startup incubators. Their role is most often to provide support to entrepreneurs. This is due to the provision of premises in office centers, conducting trainings, training seminars, to which successful investors are invited.
The ability to use such resources helps owners of small companies to direct their efforts into the development of business concepts. As practice shows, they work at a lower cost, provided they participate in incubation. Who is interested in creating incubators: large startup organizations, entrepreneurs who have achieved success in their industries, the government. The creating bodies, as a rule, are engaged in their promotion and management.
If we compare incubators with accelerators, they are characterized by a more flexible structure. Their goal is to meet the requirements of a certain company. The programs are similar to “residencies”. They also use special training programs and the help of mentors. There are examples when a company has been in an incubator for as long as it needed to turn its business into a successful project.
What is a startup accelerator?
For whom startup accelerators are more suitable: as a rule, these are companies that are in the early stages of development, providing an imperfect, but fulfilling its main function product to the market (“minimally viable”). Accelerators should not be used for business projects that are at the initial stage of customer base development. Also, they are not suitable for companies that are only trying to determine whether the manufactured product meets consumer demand. Accelerators help to significantly expand opportunities, take part in educational projects, and get the necessary resources to make its development faster.
It is not easy to take part in the acceleration program. Acceptance of applications is limited. It is explained primarily by the limited amount of funding. In addition, difficulties arise with insufficient allocation of mentoring time. There is also a shortage of available space. As part of the program, accelerators partially use their own capital from a startup.
Advantages of participating in the Startup Incubator in Dubai
According to experts, incubator can be considered as a large educational base for the company. In addition to a relatively inexpensive workspace and free training, you will be able to receive favorable offers from investors and take part in credit financing programs. Often, by becoming a participant in the startup incubator project, a company has an advantage in using a ready-made business strategy. There is also an opportunity to test products and establish contacts with successful entrepreneurs.
Possibility of establishing contacts
Success of a company in the market is determined, among other things, by the circle of communication in business circles. Incubators present special programs that allow you to take an active part in network events and trainings. The main leaders of the chosen industry and business strategy experts can also be involved there.
Valuable leadership and mentoring experience
Participation in the programs helps to establish mutually beneficial relationships with experts in various industries and people who serve as a mentor. Entrepreneurs who are at the very beginning of their journey get useful experience.
Working space on acceptable terms
As a rule, startups are limited in funds at the initial stage. The company cannot afford to incur significant costs for the workspace. Incubators provide comfortable conditions: coworking space, mentors help in any matter. Unlike traditional office areas, where each employee is assigned his place, in flexible spaces people have the opportunity to choose the most convenient area for themselves to negotiate and perform other tasks.
Incubators do not work alone. During their existence, partnerships have been developed with venture capital companies, private investors and large firms ready to finance startups. They not only invest in the development of new business projects, but also demonstrate the potential for success.
Owners of small companies receive the help of lawyers and mentors who know everything about the organization of business processes. This knowledge will be needed when it is necessary to make important decisions and act in the interests of the company without violating the laws. The tips will be used in strategic planning and the development of corporate ethics.
List of incubators in Dubai and the UAE
Use the list that contains the most famous incubators of the UAE. By becoming a member of their program, you will be able to find a co-founder, or develop an imperfect, but fulfilling the main function of the product (MVP), get favorable credit conditions for your project. And, perhaps, you will be able to use all the listed privileges.
Incubator Zone 2071 invites aspiring entrepreneurs living in different parts of the world to participate in its programs and business development in the UAE. In order to establish a presence in Zone 2071, it is necessary to take care of obtaining a special permit in advance. It is issued after submitting an application for participation in the Dubai Future Foundation program. Once approved, the owners of small companies will become holders of a commercial license to operate in this zone. It is important to keep in mind that the permit is issued for three years.
Incubator was created with the support of the Abu Dhabi Government. The main task is to attract venture capital firms and large investors in order to support the stimulation of technology business. Hub71 cooperates on an ongoing basis with all promising aspects of business processes.
Requirements for companies to be included in the incentive program:
- focus on increasing the customer base;
- use of new technologies that can transform the market;
- provision of venture financing (reports are accepted for the last three years);
- activity in the development of business projects.
Which organizations are involved in cooperation: Abu Dhabi Global Market (AD GM) and the state-owned company Mubadala, which is commonly referred to as national welfare funds.
Fazaa Business Incubators and Accelerators Center
Fazaa Center was launched in July 2020. It was created to conduct educational trainings and advise entrepreneurs operating in the UAE. In addition, the owners of small companies are provided with logistical support. The Center helps in creating its own innovative projects and in overcoming problems in the field of financing and marketing.
You can become a member of the startup incubator program at the early stages of the company’s development. Support will be provided here in various areas of development. Unlike the accelerator, where most often there are certain time limits, the observance of which is monitored by the mentor, the incubator assumes a longer cooperation.
Center uses different project launch programs. At the request of an entrepreneur, they can help him to develop a product idea and identify immediate prospects. The first program is based on incubation principles. Participants will receive support in creating an MVP, and they will have an understanding of how they will earn money. The second project is more accelerated. The founders of the company will be able to understand how to invest in marketing, and what needs to be done to form a product design. The Faster Capital strategy is considered universal, because the incubator undertakes to cover 50% of the costs either for the development of an MVP or for the development of a business idea.
Incubator has a leading position in the UAE. It specializes in tourism and aviation. Its founders offer different programs: the development of projects at early stages and at later stages. The financing involves leaders in their industries on the global market, such as Microsoft, Emirates, Accenture. Entry-level program participants receive an investment of 50 000 dirhams. If we talk about an accelerated project, then entrepreneurs are not allowed to invest.
DIFC FinTech Hive
Incubator became operational in 2017. It supports startups in financial services and professional networks. During the work of DIFC FinTech Hive, 47 investments were made.
Organization specializes in the management of crypto assets, is engaged in the promotion of investment banking services. Dalma Capital has been operating since 2011. Which industries it supports: hedge funds, asset management, financial technologies.
The organization is represented by a venture fund. It conducts a program of accelerated development of small companies with the subsequent creation of investment funds. TURN 8 has been operating since 2013. During this time, 46 investments were made.
INNOVEST Middle East
Investment organization whose purpose is to assist in the implementation of business projects at an accelerated pace. The company has been operating for more than 10 years. She started her activity in 2011.
Incubator contributes to the formation of a favorable environment for the development of business ideas. They can consider different industries and help find investors. The Center has been successfully operating since 2013.
The program is designed for six weeks of visits. No investment is required. The organization is interested in promoting financial services.
The founders of media organization are Chantal Dumonceau and Elissa Freiha. The main activity is the promotion of equality of legal statuses of men and women. They distribute motivating innovative content. Industries that are developing: media and communications, venture capital, investment.
The Humanitarian Accelerators
Organization provides support to small businesses. Companies that provide access to quality education for children become participants in their program. Education assistance should be provided to everyone regardless of social status, including refugees. What provides the educational process: the use of e-learning tools and an innovative mechanism.
Startupbootcamp Smart City Dubai
Incubator conducts programs for the development of business projects in a popular field from the industry. The duration of the course is 14 weeks.
2019 FinTech Accelerator Programme
Organization provides an opportunity to get an experienced mentor who will advise in the field of financial services and technology for 13 weeks. The course includes training and information about investment opportunities.
According to the Department of Economic Development, startups account for about 50% of all companies operating in the UAE. It is difficult to underestimate the role of incubators in Dubai, because these organizations provide access to financing and all the necessary resources. The national strategy assumes a smooth transition to the formation of the knowledge economy. In this regard, incubators and accelerators perform an important function of assisting in the development of business ideas in all industries.