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DSOA becomes Microsoft BizSpark partner

Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Center joins Microsoft start-up program

(l-r): Samer Abu-Ltaif and Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak signing the agreement.
(l-r): Samer Abu-Ltaif and Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak signing the agreement.

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to become a partner for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, to promote tech start-ups in the region.

Under the MoU, Microsoft will enroll DSOA's wholly owned technology incubation centre, Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Center (DTEC), the largest of its kind in the Middle East, as a Microsoft BizSpark Network partner, providing all tech start-ups and innovators under its network with free and express access to its software and services.

The two will collaborate on promoting entrepreneurship including a joint implementation plan to to tailor BizSpark to local requirements.

The BizSpark program is available for tech start-ups that are less than five years old, privately held, and earning less than $1 million annually. The program also provides global visibility to an audience of potential investors, clients and partners which tech start-ups can tap into as Microsoft BizSpark members.

Microsoft will support start-ups by providing them with free software and services through the BizSpark program and as well as with technical BizSpark products guidance. DSOA will on the other hand promote the BizSpark program to its start-up ecosystem through marketing activities and events that showcase the benefits of Microsoft technologies for start-ups.

Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak, deputy CEO of DSOA, said: "We fully understand the importance of innovation in relation to entrepreneurs and their contribution to the economy of the country. We at DSO have clear objectives and directions in developing an ecosystem that supports the growth of start-ups. We have a 3,600 square meters facility to accommodate young entrepreneurs that have smart innovative ideas. Today we host more than 187 start-ups and emerging high-tech entrepreneurs that are benefiting from guidance and support to help them grow their innovative ideas into a successful business."

"Becoming a BizSpark Network Partner will certainly consolidate our existing efforts in helping start-ups to grow. We are very excited about this opportunity because Microsoft BizSpark is a valuable and proven technology solution that can considerably benefit entrepreneurs and start-ups based at DTEC in scaling up their businesses, generating financial returns faster and offsetting operating costs. This can help them focus their efforts on other business challenges such as research, development, investment and promotion," Shahla added.

Samer Abu-Ltaif, regional general manager at Microsoft Gulf, said: "Microsoft aims to provide young entrepreneurs in the UAE with the necessary tools to enable them take their business ideas from concept to completion. The collaboration with DSOA is a strategic and crucial one in enabling us to harness the vast potential that lies within start-ups in the UAE. Our partnership with DSO reiterates our commitment to help accelerate innovation through Microsoft BizSpark, and we hope these efforts will help us reach more people who are looking to turn their great ideas into reality. This will, in turn, empower their communities and the country at large."