Startups pair up with corporate partners at STEP Conference 2020 - GulfToday

Startups pair up with corporate partners at STEP Conference 2020


Participants pose for a group photograph during the STEP Conference in Dubai.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

Three leading UAE corporates have announced plans to collaborate with startups on new pilot projects, following two days of business matchmaking and pitching sessions at the STEP Conference 2020 in Dubai.   

The two-day event, hosted by Dubai Startup Hub as part of its Market Access programme, concluded with the corporate members announcing the names of startups that they will join forces with.

Emirates NBD will join forces with Cloudia, Dafar DMCC/PurchasePerfect, PassPadu, and Arcab, to focus on issues of procurement, extracting information from unstructured data and digital mobility service.

While Sumitomo will collaborate with Basetrack, which uses advanced cartography and high precision telemetry to control vehicles and provide real-time fleet management. Mediclinic chose  four start-ups, namely Nearmotion, Healthigo, Eternity Medicine and InstaPract to help them with interactive customer engagement, dealing with diabetes reversal and anti-aging, cloud technology and the region’s first white-labelled telehealth platform.

The startups were selected from a pool of 21 shortlisted candidates that pitches business concepts and solutions that addressed existing challenges for corporate members related to procurement, supplier management, warehousing, investment in future of mobility, e-commerce transformation and reimagining customer experience.

Natalia Sycheva, Manager of Entrepreneurship at Dubai Chamber said the Market Access programme attracted a record number of international startups, with 40% of the 100 submissions coming from outside of the UAE, reaffirming Dubai’s status as a global hub for entrepreneurs.

Around 11% of startup entries came from Russia, followed by the EU (10%), India (8%) and other countries (11%). The competing start-ups specialise in mobility, logistics and supply chain, green energy, healthcare and enterprise solutions, she revealed, adding that Market Access provides an attractive platform for global startups that plan to enter the Dubai market.

“STEP Conference 2020 proved to be an ideal platform for our corporate members and participating startups to network and collaborate, while the event also gave us an opportunity to showcase the benefits of joining Market Access and other initiatives and programmes offered by Dubai Startup Hub, such as the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition 5.0 and Co-Founder Dubai. We look forward to seeing the end-product of the partnerships that have been facilitated by Market Access,” said Natalia Sycheva, Manager of Entrepreneurship at Dubai Chamber.

Dubai Chamber launched Dubai StartUp Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect start-ups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.

Market Access is one of Dubai Startup Hub’s flagship programmes designed to facilitate partnerships between corporates and start-ups. The programme offers annual membership to corporates with four matchmaking events held throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently participated in the Africa Tech Summit 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda, where the organisation launched the second cycle of its GBF Mentorship Programme, which pairs innovative UAE and African startups with mentors who can provide them with valuable expertise, support and guidance.

Over 250 participants visited Dubai Chamber’s stand at the summit where they learned about the criteria for participating in the programme and the various benefits and opportunities it offers to startups and mentors, while African startups and mentors submitted their applications for the second cycle of the programme.

The first phase of the programme aims to foster cooperation between UAE and African entrepreneurs and create a framework for a holistic mentorship programme designed to help selected startups develop their businesses and access global growth opportunities.

The second phase will see the selection of several expert mentors who will be matched with startups who require support in key areas where they can offer their specialised expertise.

The programme will culminate at the 6th Global Business Forum Africa, taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai. At the upcoming forum, participating startups will get an opportunity to exhibit, participate in panel discussions and pitch to potential investors.

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