Applications now open for third cohort of Microsoft for Startups’


Microsoft for Startups Middle East has announced the opening of applications for the third cohort of its highly engaging GrowthX Accelerator Program. The organization has also made free registration for the latest installment of its popular Highway to 100 Unicorns virtual conference series available.

The GrowthX Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns initiatives are part of Microsoft’s larger strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate the growth of B2B tech startups in the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan.

“Startups play a key role in driving economic growth, job creation and diversification. Tech startups in particular offer significant opportunities to accelerate innovation across the UAE and the region by bringing creative and unique solutions to various challenges. Abu Dhabi is committed to supporting and nurturing the growth of innovative businesses, and our ongoing partnership with Microsoft for Startups through the Growth X Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns initiatives is a key enabler to us achieving this,” said Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General at ADIO. 

GrowthX Accelerator

The 10-week virtual accelerator program runs from September 19 to November 25 and provides founders with the tools they need to successfully scale their startups in Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Applications are open to B2B tech startups from the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan looking to establish operations in the UAE capital.

The GrowthX Accelerator, which is primarily geared toward growth-stage startups ranging from Seed to Series A, empowers B2B tech startups by providing training opportunities that focus on enterprise sales and technical readiness for scale. The program connects innovators and brings them together to learn, grow, become investor-ready, and improve engagement with potential regional customers through technical and commercial acceleration.

“After two successful instalments of the GrowthX Accelerator program, we are thrilled to open applications for a third cohort of innovative tech startups to be empowered to achieve more,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager: Microsoft UAE. “We recognise the potential that startups bring to accelerate digital transformation across the region. Through initiatives like GrowthX, we demonstrate our commitment to supporting their growth journeys and preparing them for scale. We look forward to harnessing these businesses and further strengthening the important role Abu Dhabi plays in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Highway to 100 Unicorns

Microsoft for Startups Middle East also announced the availability of free registrations for its popular virtual conference series, Highway to 100 Unicorns. Highway to 100 Unicorns, hosted in partnership with ADIO through a series of live events on LinkedIn, brings together thought leaders from across the region to address issues confronting growth-stage founders in the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan. Muneeb Mayr (Founder of Bykea), Hasan Haider (Managing Partner at Plus Venture Capital), Serene Shalan (Head of Strategic Partnerships at ADIO), and Dana Baki are among the confirmed speakers for the upcoming series (Co-Founder of MunchOn).

“We’ve received fantastic feedback from startups and speakers who’ve participated in previous instalments of our Highway to 100 Unicorns series, so we look forward to hosting another series of virtual talks and driving further impact in the growth journeys of startups across the region,” Yazbeck said. “This time around, we are focusing on participants who are growth-stage founders and eager to succeed in a rapidly globalizing digital economy where success relies on the ability to make the right moves at the right time with the right technology. I have no doubt that attendees will gain exceptional value from the series.”


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