Microsoft for Startups Middle East announced today that it is accepting registrations for the next series of virtual conferences in the well-received Highway to 100 Unicorns virtual conference and has opened a second round of applications for Microsoft for Startups’ highly successful GrowthX Accelerator Program.
The GrowthX Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns are part of a broader strategic partnership between Microsoft and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate opportunities for startups across the region, including Pakistan. The GrowthX Accelerator, announced in January 2021 and officially launched in May, brings together corporations with challenges and startups that can build field-ready solutions. It empowers B2B tech start-ups with the commercial and technical resources and support they need to accelerate their growth.
H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said,“Startups are the lifeblood of Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem, bringing ingenuity, fresh ideas and ambition to drive progress across all sectors. The Abu Dhabi government is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and businesses through scale up programmes such as GrowthX Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns. The progression of these initiatives to their next phases signifies the success they have achieved in helping startups. We will continue on this journey to ensure innovators have access to all the tools and resources they need to make impactful change in Abu Dhabi.”
ACCELERATOR FOR GROWTHX
Microsoft for Entrepreneurs The GrowthX Accelerator aims to build on the country’s progress by harnessing the government’s benefits for technology companies. The programme fosters connections and brings innovators together to learn, grow, become investor-ready, and better engage corporates in the region through intense technical and commercial acceleration.
“Our second cohort of GrowthX follows a very successful first phase in 2021, where we saw massive interest from innovators across the region,” said Roberto Croci, Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups, MEA. “Microsoft customers, regardless of their industry or scale, are eager for solutions. Success in a rapidly globalizing digital economy relies on making the right moves at the right time with the right technology. Microsoft for Startups exists to support the creators of innovative solutions and connect them with the technology and partners they need in order to grow. Our work with ADIO on the GrowthX Accelerator program lays the groundwork for that sea change in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.”
GrowthX consists of virtual and physical workshops and training sessions, as well as a series of “demo days” and networking events where startups can present their visions to venture capitalists and Microsoft’s regional enterprise customers. Over the course of a 12-week programme, Microsoft will recruit 15 startups from throughout the region, including Pakistan, to tackle a variety of corporate difficulties for its partners. DHL, PwC, and Koc Holdings are among the corporate partners in this year’s GrowthX cohort, with more to be revealed.
THE WAY TO ONE HUNDRED UNICORNS
Microsoft for Startups also announced that its famous Highway to 100 Unicorns initiative will host another virtual conference series. Highway to 100 Unicorns, co-hosted by ADIO and LinkedIn, brings together professionals from around the world to address difficulties faced by early-stage entrepreneurs in the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan, and to share the knowledge they need to create and scale. Between January 24 and February 9, the latest virtual conference series will be broadcast live on LinkedIn and Microsoft Teams. Over the three-week period, two sessions will be hosted daily, the first targeting idea-stage founders who are still developing their business models, and the second focusing on the issues faced by slightly more mature businesses as they consider scaling.
Confirmed speakers for this year’s Highway to 100 Unicorns conference include Mark Chahwan (co-founder at Sarwa), Brian Habibi (co-founder at Bayzat), Sarah el Saleh (Partner at Outliers), Yehia Badawy (co-founder at Rain), Joy Ajlouny (Fetchr), and Sarah Toukan (co-founder at Ziina). The conference will also include workshops and info sessions with ADGM and Hub71.
To apply for Microsoft for Startups GrowthX Accelerator, or find out more, B2B startups in Pakistan can visit here.
To register for the latest Highway to 100 Unicorns virtual conference series, or find out more, start-ups in Pakistan can visit here.