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Silicon Oasis launches smart city accelerator

Dubai Smart City Accelerator program offers support, $5m funding to smart city startups

Silicon Oasis launches smart city accelerator
The Dubai Smart City Accelerator is looking o support up to 40 startups in the smart city sphere.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), has launched a new Dubai Smart City Accelerator, which aims to develop startups focused on smart city solutions.

The Dubai Smart City Accelerator program, part of DSOA's Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec), aims to attract 40 startups over three years, with a focus on city solutions in areas such as smart home, buildings, transport, urban planning and maintenance.

The accelerator will be run by Startupbootcamp, and successful applicants to the program will be able to access office space in Dtec, consultation and advisory support, as well as access to Startupbootcamp and its partner organisations and $20,000 in cash - all for a 6% equity stake in the venture.

Once completed, the startups will join Startupbootcamp's global alumni network consisting of some 400 enterprises from more than 50 countries worldwide.

The accelerator is supported by six strategic partners: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company; Smart Dubai Office (SDO); Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Rochester Institute of Technology New York; Orange Business Services; and Visa. The program has a total of AED18.4 million ($5m) in investment.

The launch includes a portal for startups and entrepreneurs to apply for the program.

Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA said: "As a strategic partner of Dubai's smart city initiative and under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DSOA is successfully positioned as a reputable and much sought-after testing ground for several smart city solutions, applications and products in Dubai. We are committed to advancing our contribution through several initiatives, including the Happiest People strategy that is a core pillar of DSOA's 2021 Strategy and a stand-alone concept in itself.

"Public-private partnerships play a strong role in the country's development and translate a positive impact on its economic landscape. As a Dubai government entity, we are keen to respond proactively to the UAE leadership's directive to enhance our partnership with the private sector, and more specifically with entrepreneurs and startups due to our focus on supporting such businesses. Given the existing synergy, we are delighted to venture into one more collaboration with these partners for the Dubai Smart City Accelerator program at Dtec."

Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, commented: "We are focused on providing Dubai's residents with a distinct and delightful living experience that will ensure they enjoy the highest quality of life with a sense of security, efficiency, and happiness. The SDO is working with partners from both the public and private sectors to fulfil the ambitious vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed at improving living conditions and ensuring the happiness of Dubai's citizens through harnessing technology. We are therefore committed to supporting the Dubai Smart City Accelerator program in partnership with DSOA and other stakeholders, given its enabling benefits to startups seeking to develop innovative solutions that promote smart cities."

The agreement was signed by Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA; Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Osman Sultan CEO du ; Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of the Smart Dubai Office; Kamran Siddiqi, Visa Group Executive for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa; Luc Serviant, Senior Vice President, Middle East & Africa, Orange Business Services; Dr. James H. Watters, Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer at RIT New York and RIT Dubai board member; and Carsten Kølbek, CEO and Founder of  Startupbootcamp.

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