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District 2020 calls for start-ups to be part of its innovation ecosystem

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on February 3, 2020 | Last updated on February 3, 2020 at 06.51 am
District 2020, World Expo, 2020 Dubai, Expo 2020 Dubai

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District 2020 will be a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem that will contribute to the growth of Dubai's innovation economy.

District 2020 has launched a global entrepreneur programme, Scale2Dubai, which enables start-ups and small businesses to expand internationally by becoming part of its innovation ecosystem.

Evolving from Expo 2020 Dubai, the next World Expo (October 20 to April 10, 2021), District 2020 will be a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem that will contribute to the growth of Dubai's innovation economy. Targeting enterprises across the world, District 2020's Scale2Dubai programme will build on the platform provided by Expo 2020 and carry forward the mega event's vision of gathering global minds, while also promoting diversity, innovation, and knowledge-sharing to create lasting benefits for organisations.

The programme will enable start-ups and global innovators to scale their businesses in Dubai by capitalising on the partnerships formed through their country's participation in the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region.

Successful applicants to Scale2Dubai will benefit from a soft-landing into Dubai within District 2020, given the support they need to scale, adapt, and establish themselves in the UAE. The benefits they will receive include two years of free working space, support in visa and business set-up, plus more. Additionally, they'll be empowered by District 2020's unrivalled physical and digital infrastructure, ideal strategic geographic location, and a unique work and living ecosystem.

The Scale2Dubai programme will draw upon Expo 2020's and District 2020's vision of enabling innovation and industry growth by providing these small businesses and start-ups the tools and environment they need to break ground and thrive. District 2020 aims to curate an innovation-driven ecosystem by bringing together businesses, large and small, from across industries and from around the world to collaborate and gain competitive advantages.

In line with this ambition, Scale2Dubai is focused on attracting businesses in the early stages of growth that operate within industries key to Dubai's future and innovation-economy, as well as those involved in the transformative, enabling technologies central to District 2020's purpose. The start-ups and global innovators sought for Scale2Dubai will help to diversify the UAE's economy, build a generation of job creators, stimulate innovation, and serve as a platform that attracts talent - all key components of District 2020's innovative environment.

The ecosystem will comprise a diverse tenant mix, attracting companies in key growth industries including logistics and transport, travel and tourism, construction and real estate, and education. District 2020 will also focus on attracting businesses involved in the disruptive technologies of artificial intelligence, blockchain, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.

Over 80 per cent of Expo 2020's built environment will be re-purposed into District 2020, which has been carefully planned to maximise the Expo site's use in the future. District 2020 will create a business environment that directly encourages progress within key growth industries, and supports sustainable economic development.

Marjan Faraidooni, chief pavilions and exhibitions officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "Launching Scale2Dubai is an important milestone in our journey towards curating a truly global, future-proof innovation-driven community. Start-ups and small businesses are a fundamental ingredient of any true innovation ecosystem, as they help to spark competition with more established companies while attracting venture capital into the community. Organisations in their early stages of growth also so often contribute fresh ideas and approaches that are hugely influential in disrupting industries for the better. That's exactly what we want to bring into District 2020, and in return, Scale2Dubai provides ambitious companies with a platform to reach new international markets."

The programme will facilitate access to enabling platforms such as accelerators and incubators, networks of mentors, and investors and experts within District 2020's business ecosystem. Small businesses will benefit from direct connection to Fortune 500 companies, international organisations, and influential partners who will help them innovate and lead their business and industry forward. The ultimate goal of the programme is to gradually grow the selected small businesses and integrate them into the District 2020 business community, the UAE, and the regional marketplace.

Tala Al Ansari, director - Scale2Dubai, District 2020, said: "The Scale2Dubai programme is an incredible opportunity for international start-ups and small businesses looking to grow. We recognise the challenges that entrepreneurs face while scaling and have developed a programme that helps them grow their businesses in Dubai. If you are a start-up or small business that aligns to District 2020's focus industries and enabling technologies, we are inviting you to be part of our community and to leverage the power of connecting with our innovation ecosystem."

- business@khaleejtimes.com


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