The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), an initiative launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance and operated by Emirates Development Bank to support innovation in the UAE, has added 18 new members to its Accelerator program, bringing the total number of program members to 57. Winter Cohort members were chosen from the largest number of applicants for the program since its launch in December 2018, with 232 applications received from 48 countries.
Inspired by the vision of the UAE’s leadership, the MBRIF is working to realize the National Innovation Strategy by attracting high potential innovators from around the world to transform the country’s innovation landscape. Through the Accelerator Program, MBRIF provides innovators with access to world-class services and mentorship from a global network of experts, all tailored to the members’ needs at every stage of business from start-up to scale-up, enabling them to achieve sustainable growth and socio-economic impact.
The Winter Cohort 2020 comprises startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are breaking new ground in critical sectors identified by the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy, including: Education, Health, Renewable and Clean Energy, Space, Technology, Transportation, and Water.
More than half of the selected new MBRIF Accelerator members are businesses headquartered in the UAE. These include online payment gateway for the real estate sector, Ajar; Alethia, a whistleblowing mobile app; BuyBackBazaar, a reverse auction engine for secondhand goods; interactive streaming platform Colosseum Media; subscription-based B2B hospitality sector solution, Giisty, a social knowledge platform, Hotel Data Cloud; proprietary additive 3D printing and inventory solution, Immensa Technology Labs; Letswork, an app-based platform that connects individuals and teams with workspaces to boost venue revenue streams; Mesh, a gig-economy platform that supports managed work opportunities without the legal and financial risks associated with freelancing; robo-advisor digital platform Sarwa, which provides automated financial planning and investing services; Shorages, the only fulfilment solution that is tailored in its entirety to serve e-commerce; and Wahaj Solar, creator of a concentrated solar power solution.
There are six internationally-based companies from across three continents in the Winter Cohort. These include AITRICS from South Korea, which combines technology and healthcare with a preventative artificial intelligence solution that supports early intervention; Alesca Life Technologies, a developer of hyper-efficient, modular, hydroponic and climate-controlled commercial farms from China; novel marketing platform Mobsting from Lebanon; Ireland’s P4ML, a platform that aggregates data for prenatal child disease diagnosis, prognosis, therapy selection, and drug development; Rightangled from the UK, which enables medical consultants to provide context into patients’ DNA results and self-reported health information, and WideBot, an Egypt-based B2B Software as a Service (SaaS) bot building platform with artificial intelligence-enabled chatbots that speak both formal and informal Arabic.
Fatima Alnaqbi, Chief Innovation Officer, MBRIF Representative of the Ministry of Finance, said: “We are excited to welcome the new cohort of innovators to the MBRIF Accelerator Program. It is our firm belief that our new members will contribute to the UAE’s robust innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and that they will further contribute to the positive socio-economic impact of our members in the UAE, the region, and across the world. The number of applicants from 48 countries for the Winter Cohort clearly showcases that the UAE is a global hub for innovation, where entrepreneurs can find the necessary ecosystem for their businesses to grow and flourish while transforming industries.”
The MBRIF Accelerator identifies and supports local and global innovators to accelerate their business growth and achieve scalability, both in the UAE and internationally, by providing them with world-class services, expert mentorship, and connections tailored to their business needs. Aligned with the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy, the program aims to enhance the growth potential of innovative businesses shaping the future of UAE’s economy and contributing to an enhanced society. Local as well as global businesses seeking to operate and grow in the UAE can apply to the program.
Members benefit from the MBRIF Accelerators’ tailored program offering five groups of services, which include Articulating Strategic Direction, Articulating and Validating Business Model, Access to Markets and Clients, Access to Funding and Finance, and Defining a People Strategy.
Since the Accelerator program was launched two years ago, its members have accomplished remarkable growth and success with the support of the program’s ecosystem of experts. Numerous members have scaled operations, expanded footprint and revenue, while even more have received funding and won prestigious industry recognition. The MBRIF Accelerator program was launched with a commitment to the success of its members and to support of their innovative solutions. It continues to attract the interest of innovative businesses from around the world looking to accelerate their growth.