Startups vie for investors in UAE

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Some 500 startups from all over the world will showcase their groundbreaking products and services at the AIM Startup in Dubai on 8 to 10 April for a chance to make a pitch to investors.

The United Arab Emirates is hosting the event, in conjunction with the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) to provide companies, with a rare opportunity to raise capital, enter into new markets and build new alliances with key investors and business leaders from the government and private sectors, according to the organizing committee of the AIM Startup.

“Over the years, we have witnessed an overwhelming investment in Middle East startup companies, particularly the UAE, as a result of the growing confidence of regional and global investors in their potentials and growth capacity. To sustain this momentum, we are holding AIM Startup,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, chairman of the committee.

The event, which will run under the theme “Harnessing Global Digitisation to Empower Startups and SMEs,” will be an ideal platform to generate new leads, interact with their like-minded peers and connect with potential investors from around the world, added Shezawi.

Based on the program of the event, eligible startups will be shortlisted to pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges and to a room filled with investors with a goal to attract capital investment and cash prizes over a period of two days.

Other highlights of the AIM Startup are world-class workshops and professional coaching sessions conducted by industry leaders from across the world; meetings between participating startups and investors, potential business partners and corporate and government representatives; a conference where thought-leaders and industry titans will share their expertise and insights on current trends and future technologies in an interactive setting; and an award ceremony on the last day to celebrate the most innovative entrepreneurs, recognize their ideas, as well as celebrate and put the spotlight on their achievements.

The UAE remains one of the most favored destinations for startup investments due to its strong government support for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as the country’s advanced infrastructure, business-friendly environment, political and economic stability and cosmopolitan lifestyle, according to Shezawi.

About 69 percent of startups in the country are mainly involved in e-commerce, marketplaces and infrastructure/software as a service, while 52 percent are B2C ventures. About 93 percent of the startups are headquartered in Dubai.

A recent report indicated that startups and companies in the Middle East bagged $610.3 million in total funding from external investors, with 93 percent of them securing more than $1 million each.

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