District 2020’s global entrepreneurship program, ‘Scale2Dubai’, will welcome a first cohort of 85 start-ups and small businesses before the end of this year, joining the diverse organizations living and working in the post-Expo 2020 Dubai community.
District 2020 seeks to play a role in enabling regional and global start-ups to scale up within Dubai, providing an ideal launchpad and gateway to access the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. By enabling start-ups and small businesses through its Scale2Dubai program, District 2020 builds on Expo 2020 Dubai’s efforts to fund and empower innovating budding businesses, with the potential to create long-term positive economic and social impacts.
The immense interest in the Scale2Dubai programme attracted more than 3,200 applications from 129 countries, illustrating the status of Dubai as the preferred location for start-ups looking to expand their global footprint. With one of the world’s most conducive business environments for a wide range of sectors, the UAE has earned a reputation as a particularly promising start-up ecosystem, with an aim to become the leading global start-up ecosystem by 2031.
Tala Al Ansari, Director, Innovation Ecosystem and Scale2Dubai, said, “This is an exciting milestone that reiterates District 2020’s commitment to continuing Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy of supporting entrepreneurs and contributing to Dubai’s status as an innovation-driven global start-up capital.
“Only 50 percent of start-ups make it to their fifth year, so we are proud to have designed a programme that supports them on this journey and eagerly look forward to welcoming Cohort 1 to District 2020 during Q4 of this year. We plan to host a new cohort every year at District 2020 and look forward to our second cohort moving in by April 2023.”
The first cohort of 85 promising businesses from 27 countries were selected from 628 shortlisted applications, each of which went through a rigorous evaluation by three judges from a technically qualified pool of 50.