The UAE Innovation Month – which ended in February 2018 – gave the ten startups selected to join the Dubai Smart City Accelerator and the startup boot camp an opportunity to present their work, a platform to pitch their ideas, and the chance to network with an invited group of influencers and prospective investors and partners.
The ten teams selected out of over 1,000 applicants are working in the areas of IoT, blockchain, open city data, urban automation and mobility, artificial intelligence, sustainable cities and living, smart government, smart retail, and machine learning. The accelerator’s program provides the startups with hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts, office space in Dubai, seed funding, $20,000 (Dh73,460) in cash, and access to an international network of investors and corporate partners from across the smart city industry.
One member of a startup team commented: “The collaboration with Orange and other corporates is really important for startups because we lack that experience of working with big clients; we are a startup and our clients are big companies and governments and we don’t have the connections or experience of dealing with them; both these elements – mentorship and connections – are very important.
The Dubai Smart City Accelerator was launched in May 2017 by Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) in collaboration with six strategic partners – Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), Smart Dubai Office, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rochester Institute of Technology New York, Orange Business Services and Visa – with an investment of Dh18.4 million (~ $5,000,000 US).