Expand Summit to attract venture capitalists for financing start-ups


The summit will witness the largest gathering of VCs and start-ups in the region, with 500 VCs and 1,000 tech start-ups expected to participate…reports Asian Lite News

The Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy, one of the three chambers under the newly formed Dubai Chambers umbrella will be hosting the “Expand Summit”, the first-of-its-kind summit in the region in January 2022 to attract Venture Capitalists (VCs) for financing start-ups.

The summit will witness the largest gathering of VCs and start-ups in the region, with 500 VCs and 1,000 tech start-ups expected to participate in the two-day programme which will include events, seminars, presentations, demos, pitches and meetings.

It will host some of the most prestigious and well-known VC firms and leaders around the world to build a network of dedicated international and local relationships with entrepreneurs, technology companies and specialised funding agencies, to help start-ups and entrepreneurs transform their creative ideas.

The summit will be held during Expo 2020 Dubai, and will be organised in coordination with Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Future Foundation, and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and is expected to witness wide participation.

Speaking about the mandate of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and this Summit, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy said, “The Summit will serve as a catalyst to help Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy achieve its goal of accelerating the growth of Dubai’s digital economy and doubling the number of digital companies operating in the emirate in the coming years.”

There will also be a global conference, business networking events, demo-days, investment presentations, as well as roundtable discussions on important global topics such as social capital, impact investing and environmental, social and corporate governance. The summit will also feature an accelerators unit that will allow VC firms and start-ups to fast-track the establishment of their businesses in Dubai.

In 2018, the Dubai Chamber conducted a study on the biggest challenges for technology start-ups and “access to finance” was rated as the second most difficult challenge, specifically in the early stages. In respect of that, this summit will provide an opportune stage for start-ups to identify sources of funding and link up with VCs from around the world.

UAE and Dubai start-ups usually attract 50 percent of total funding raised in the MENA region. Dubai Chamber’s Dubai Start-up Hub has played a key role in helping entrepreneurs navigate the funding ecosystem, and has been receiving close to 50 individual requests from VCs globally, including from North America, Russia and India, about investing in Dubai start-ups.

The Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy is focused on transforming the Emirate of Dubai into a global centre for the digital economy. According to the latest statistics, the digital economy contributes about 4.3 percent of the GDP in the UAE, which is equivalent to AED100 billion. There are more than 1,400 start-ups in the country, with AED1.5 billion allocated to them. There are 90 investment funds in the digital sector and 12 business incubators and the total value of start-ups in the country is estimated to be AED90 billion.

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