DUBAI - Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) organised an event bringing together startups with venture capital firms to explore opportunities for collaboration and growth in the technology and digital economy sector.

In line with DFF’s ongoing efforts to enhance Dubai’s position as a global hub for tech innovators and investors, the event was part of the "10x10" initiative launched by DFF to provide a platform for promising startups to meet with investors, utilise potential investment opportunities, mobilise support for their projects, expand their business in the UAE and globally, and ultimately become unicorn companies based in Dubai.

The meeting, which was organised in partnership with VC MENA, hosted entrepreneurs from the UAE and the region who presented their innovative projects to venture capitalists and a select investment funds whose investment portfolios include more than 2,400 companies around the world, with 300 from the Middle East, of which 90 are from the UAE.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications and DFF’s Deputy Managing Director, said, "In line with the directives of our leadership, the future economy is a key pillar in the UAE’s vision to establish a global hub for incubating and supporting entrepreneurs in various sectors of innovation, technology and the digital economy to develop their concepts and expand their business from the UAE."

Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said, "This event aligns with DFF’s efforts to provide a platform to connect local and global startups and entrepreneurs with investors, incubators and accelerators. The initiative strengthen Dubai’s position as a sought out for destination that not only attracts talents and creative minds but also retains them and supports their growth from Dubai."

"The first meeting of 10x10 initiative welcomed entrepreneurs from the region whose promising projects focused on many sectors, including banking, data, healthcare, retail, e-commerce, and real estate," Belhoul added.

For his part, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said, "We are pleased to be part of this initiative that focuses on achieving sustainable development by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation to ensure strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic growth. Dubai is a global center for entrepreneurship and a prominent destination for top talents."

According to a study that was published recently by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Dubai hosts 39 percent of fast-growing startups in the MENA region. The emirate also attracted 57 percent of the total funding that these fast-growing startups have received, which is estimated at US$5.2 billion.

The UAE ranked first in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor's (GEM) Global Entrepreneurship Index 2022 report thanks to its success in achieving outstanding results in many areas, including the availability of good opportunities, skills and knowledge to start a business, confidence in the ability to overcome challenges caused by COVID-19, planning to use more digital technology to grow business, and startups’ ability to generate new job opportunities in the coming years.