18th, May 2019, Dubai (UAE): The Dubai Smart City Accelerator (DSCA), the firstindustry-focused accelerator award winning program of its kind in the MENA region, has issued an open call for applications from global startups dedicated to innovative smart city solutions to join its third cohort.
DSCA was launched in May 2017 by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in collaboration with du, Smart DubaiOffice, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) New York, Orange Business Services, and Visa. Theprogram is hosted within the renowned Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), DSOA’s wholly owned tech innovation hub, and powered by Startupbootcamp, one of the world’s largest network of industry-focused startup accelerators. The partners have jointly invested AED18.4 million into setting up the program, aimed at providing startups with expertise, exposure channels, and unparalleled access to a globalnetwork of industry professionals.
Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Smart City at DSOA, said: “Through DSCA, we seek to fulfill our commitment to supporting entrepreneurship, driving innovation, and implementing solutions that contribute to realizing the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city on earth.”
He added: “The first two rounds of DSCA have received more than 1,700 applications, accelerating and investing in 20 startups from across the world. The influx of global smart city startups is testament to the success of the targeted program. We are delighted to launch its third edition, and look forward to enabling 10 more startups to benefit from Dubai’s experience in smart city transformation, as well as from Startupbootcamp’s network.”
For his part, Ibrahim Seksek, Managing Director of DSCA, said: “We are looking for startups that seek to operate in Dubai and the wider MENA region. With a focus on smart cities, our program provides unprecedented access to government and corporate partners, driving forward Dubai’s vision to become the leading smart city in the world.”
The third cohort ofthe intensive three-month accelerator programwillrun from late September 2019 toearly January 2020. The DSCA team will handpick ten startups from the applicant pool to participate in the program andreceive a host ofexclusive acceleration package benefits. These include €15,000in cash per team to cover living expenses during the program, office space in Dtec,mentorshipopportunitiesfrom over 100 industry experts, consultation and advisory support, as well as access to Startupbootcamp’spartner organizations and seed funding.
Once they complete the program, the startups will join Startupbootcamp’s global alumni network,consisting of more than 700companies thathave cumulatively raised €500 millionin investment fromover 200 corporate partners and created almost 3,000 jobs.
This year, scouts are particularly on the lookout for startups that specializein 5G applications, connected stadiums, smart retail, smart airports, and smart payments. However, the program is open to applicants from across the spectrum of smart city solutions, including internet of things and connectivity, urban automation and mobility, artificial intelligence, blockchain, open city data, sustainable cities and living, and smart government.
startupbootcamp is also kicking off FastTracks, a series of one-day events held by Startupbootcamp during the recruitment period that bring together high-potential startups with mentors to forge valuable business connections before entering the program. In addition, DSCA will hold Office Hours, dedicated sessions that allow startups to learn more about the accelerator program and explore mutual synergies. FastTracks and Office Hours will take place across several cities in North America, Europe, MENA, and Asia.
Speaking on the advantages of DSCA, Srinath Kandala, CEO of ScaleVR Technologies – one of the alumni of the program, said: “Being selected as one of the ten teams to join the second cohort of DSCA empoweredus to achieve our vision of enteringthe UAE market. The accelerator program helped us kickstart our business throughconnecting us with a network of industry leaders. We will leveragethe knowledge we gained from the mentors, partners, and trainersto scale our business in the UAE and expand within the MENA region.”
The deadline for applications is June 30, 2019. Interested startups can apply via this link.
The updated schedule for FastTracks and Office Hours is available here.