A new opportunity for MENA entrepreneurs has been announced by Techstars, which has just joined forces with GINCO to bring a new accelerator program to Dubai. The program is called the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in Partnership with GINCO.

Techstars is a global entrepreneurship support network, founded in the US in 2006. Since then, the group has supported over a thousand startups worldwide in its accelerators and acquired over $3.3 billion in total funding. Their popular Startup Weekend Dubai event has hosted over 500 entrepreneurs since 2011. The formation of a new Dubai accelerator program is Techstars’ first step towards increasing its reach in MENA.

GINCO is a major construction contracting firm based in the UAE. It was founded in 1975 and has evolved into a large conglomerate of engineering companies over the past several decades, with five branches stretching across the Middle East. One of its core company values is the encouragement of developing technological leadership in the region, and it recently launched GINCO Investments in support of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The accelerator program is part of GINCO’s efforts to discover pioneers in the fields of robotics, IoT, transportation, and of course, construction.

The partnership between Techstars and GINCO is part of a larger effort to encourage regional innovation in pursuit of the UAE Centennial 2071 goals. The initiative is a push for developments in education, technology, government development, and the economy, with the goal of making the UAE the world’s best country by the year 2071. The Techstars/GINCO pairing follows a larger regional trend of corporate investment in local startup ecosystems – just in May, Saudi Telecom Company launched the $500 million Saudi Technology Ventures fund, and Japan’s SoftBank teamed up with the Saudi Public Investment Fund to raise a staggering $100 billion for tech development in the region.

The program will begin accepting applications in July 2017 and the session will begin in January 2018.

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