As the MENA region reports an astronomical 560% year on year increase in investment in start-ups in 2016, Dubai gets set to host over 250 of the world’s leading angel investors and venture capitalists looking for the next big opportunity at GITEX Future Stars.
As Dubai continues to grow as the entrepreneurial powerhouse of the MENA region, GITEX Future Stars announces the biggest ever confluence of the global start-up ecosystem and is set to host over 700 entrepreneurs and innovators from across 75 countries to showcase ground-breaking ideas and engage with over 250 of the world’s most influential investors and venture capitalists. The Middle East and Africa’s largest start-up conference, GITEX Future Stars will be held alongside GITEX Technology Week from October 8-12, 2017 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and is set to be the global, boundary pushing start-up event for rule breakers, game changers and dream makers.
Wamda Research Labs estimates that early stage companies raised over USD 800 million in 2016 and as Dubai continues to attract attention from leading investors and venture capitalists, looking to tap into emerging growth opportunities across the frontier markets of the Middle East, Africa and Asia; GITEX Future Stars extends a powerful platform on three distinctly themed conference tracks with trending conversations on capital funding, tech start-ups and creative disruptors, featuring high-profile regional and international speakers.
The game changing event will bring the world’s leading start-up experts together to help shape the future of a growing ecosystem of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration. GITEX Future Stars will feature an exciting line up of speakers representing different facets of an increasingly global start up community like New York-based entrepreneur, musician and technologist, Benji Rogers, who pioneered the direct artist-to-fan distribution model through Pledge Music and Dot Blockchain Music Project, Serial entrepreneur Bay McLaughlin, co-founder of Brinc, a global IoT accelerator and platform based in Hong Kong and Patrick Grove, Co-founder & Group CEO of Catcha Group/co-founder & Chairman of iflix, one of the fastest-growing and leading SVoD for emerging markets.
As annual investment in start-ups in the MENA region fast approaches $1 billion, GITEX Future Stars brings the world’s leading angel investors and venture capitalists, with an estimated $11 billion in combined managed funds to the UAE. Start-ups and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network with and learn from renowned Silicon Valley investors like Sean O’Sullivan, Founder of SOSV Ventures, Sarah Cone, Founder of Social Impact Capital and Sunny Dhillon, founder of Signia Ventures Capital; to inspirational champions.
Sean O’Sullivan, founder of SOSV Ventures said, “ GITEX Future Stars is a key event for tapping into the pulse of innovation and entrepreneurship in the dynamic Middle East. As one of the top 2 or three most active seed investors in the world, SOSV Ventures is constantly benchmarking the very best start-ups from all over the planet. The event offers a fantastic opportunity to meet with hundreds of young entrepreneurs, network with other investors, exchange best practice and insights with thought-leaders and prospective partners, all of which is crucial to help develop and expand vibrant start-up ecosystems and help our start-ups go further, faster.”
In a regional first, GITEX Future Stars will also feature a dedicated corporate buyers program in partnership with Wamda, the leading platform for entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa, to drive effective collaboration between start-ups and large corporate institutions. The program is designed to explore how start-ups can help companies solve significant business challenges with the goal of winning a partnership with a major tech company.
Designed to extend a whole host of opportunities for entrepreneurs with their eye on the prize, GITEX Future Stars will also feature a series of targeted competitions offering a total value of over AED 1 million in prizes for start-ups, from pitch competitions offering USD 180,000 in prize money to dedicated competitions run in partnership with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), VISA, Alibaba and NAMA aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation across key innovation sectors; the event extends a host of winning opportunities.
“The world’s most future-forward city, Dubai is rocketing up the innovation charts and gaining world-wide attention for implementing next generation technology to drive socio-economic development, enhance economic diversification and boost happiness and satisfaction for the wider community. GITEX Future Stars is ground zero for innovation, cross-border knowledge transfer and learning; Dubai has long been the epicentre of business in the region, and we invite the world to be inspired by a buzzing community of techpreneurs ready to turn challenges into opportunities and dreams into reality,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
GITEX Future Stars is designed to encourage and nurture the existing spirit of enterprise and will extend an impressive profile of start-ups, showcasing innovation in AR, VR, gaming, education, Fintech, healthcare, IoT, Robotics, Smart Cities, Transport & Logistics, and Travel & Tourism, in addition to, a dedicated track featuring the Creative Economy’s most inspired entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to transform the creative industry.