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AstroLabs and Google for Startups Announce Support Programmes for MENA Startups

The initiatives include grants totalling up to AED 240,000 and scholarship programmes with industry experts in various topics.

Dubai-based accelerator AstroLabs has announced two initiatives in support of MENA’s tech startups and entrepreneurs - Google Digital Upskill and the Startup Acceleration Scholarship programmes. 

The programme is offering AED 240,000 in grants for tech startups, 100 Digital Upskill scholarships and 15 startup acceleration scholarships. In the unified effort to bolster the digital ecosystem in the MENA region, which has proved most pressing due the current pandemic, the initiatives are strategically designed to support the growth of the ecosystem. 

On top of the grants available for startups, AstroLabs’ academic scholarship programmes also aim to develop entrepreneurs' learnings and insight in tech. The Digital Upskill Scholarship provides the opportunity to join AstroLabs’ Open Academy classes in various fields such as digital marketing, e-commerce or coding at reduced fees. AstroLabs is keen on emphasising that entrepreneurs put their newly developed skills to great use, so applications will be screened based on how they plan to use said skills to support individuals, teams or their societies. Ten entrepreneurs have so far been selected for the Google-backed programme.

Moreover, 15 new high potential tech startups will be given the chance to take part in the Startup Acceleration Scholarship, provided that part of their mission is to also positively and creatively benefit their societies and surrounding ecosystem. The startups’ teams will have the chance to attend AstroLabs’ training courses and mentorship programs.

In addition to these two initiatives, the AED 240,000 in grants will be committed to the support of regional tech talents that were laid off or may have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus crisis. The grants are encouraging these great tech minds to kickstart their own ventures in Dubai and Riyadh’s dynamic tech hubs at lower prices, with one-on-one mentorship with AstroLabs founders Louis Lebbos and Muhammed Mekki, as well as COO Roland Daher.

Lebbos has made an open call for investors to keep track of these talents, and has personally pledged that he will be the first investor in at least one startup that scales by Q4, and more by 2021.

To find out more about and apply to the grants and scolarships, head to AstroLabs website right here.

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