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GITEX Future Stars benefit from CEC plan

The startup community in the region is set to reap rewards from the newly launch CEC

GITEX Future Stars benefit from CEC plan
Ghandour: The aim is to match startups with big corporates.

Following an alliance between the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Wamda, a platform of integrated programmes that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems throughout the MENA geography, the startup community in the region is set to reap rewards from the newly launch Corporate Entrepreneurship Collaboration (CEC) initiative at GITEX Technology Week.

Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman, Wamda Group, says as the digital transformation and digital disruption is happening very quickly across the region, there are a lot of new startups and lots of new funds that are being invested in digital transformation.

Ghandour says Dubai is at the heart of it and the UAE Government is also at the heart of it and is clearly focused on the transformation that's happening in the wider region.

He says that's the reason Wamda has partnered with the DWTC and unveiled the CEC programme which is aimed at enhancing digital transformation, digital disruption and innovation across MENA. "We have partnered with the Dubai World Trade Centre throughout this week at GITEX Future Stars and have brought startups from the Arab world whom we are matching with corporates that feel that they need to be part of the digital transformation," he says. "We are bringing in the early stage companies and startups who need to understand the corporate world better and who have solutions for corporates."

With the MENA region's startup ecosystem estimated to be worth close to $1 billion, GITEX Future Stars has created a timely showcase for startups across sectors including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), gaming, education, fintech, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, smart cities, transport and logistics, and travel and tourism.

"There is a challenge that exists for some of the big corporates and multinationals that are operating from Dubai," he notes. "Our aim with the alliance with the DWTC and through the CEC initiative is to match these startup with the big corporates and multinationals so that they can come up with solutions that the corporates can actually adopt in their organisations.

Ghandour explains that the match with small and early stage startups with the big multinationals will enhance the digital transformation that is happening in across the region.

He notes that transformation and innovation is only happening in a serious manner with the startup world. "The big companies are a bit slower to adopt and adapt, and bringing everyone together so that they can collaborate is a win-win situation," he says. "The startup gets access to the big company and the big companies get access to innovation that they don't necessarily or probably have internally."

The Middle East's thriving startup scene has come together once again for GITEX Future Stars, which takes place alongside of GITEX Technology Week 2017.

The region's largest startup conference is this year hosting over 700 entrepreneurs and innovators from across 75 countries to showcase ground-breaking ideas, and to engage with over 250 of the world's most influential investors and venture capitalists.

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