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Highway to 100 Unicorns: Microsoft to Launch Series of Programmes for Startups in Abu Dhabi

The tech giant has teamed up with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to roll out a five-year initiative that will see it help local startups scale their businesses.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has announced that it has joined forces with Microsoft to launch a series of new programmes aimed at helping local startups scale their businesses by equipping them with the necessary resources and tools.

The programmes will be rolled out and managed over the next five years under the Microsoft for Startups' programme, which offers support in the form of technology, Azure cloud services, business support tools and skill development. 

Things will begin with 'Highway to 100 Unicorns', an engagement initiative which will run startup-focused activities through partners across the ecosystem to recruit high-potential startups for future programmes, such as the virtual 'Microsoft Growth X Accelerator'. Other programmes under the agreement will focus on entrepreneurship for Emiratis, UAE residents and university students.

In targeting early-stage, growth-driven startups, ADIO hopes that the agreement will further advance what many see as an enabling, talent-rich local ecosystem that is cementing its position as one of the most innovative in the region.

“Abu Dhabi has fostered an environment where startups can access the means and opportunities to help them bring bold ideas to life,” said Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO. “We are committed to deepening our support for investors and innovators in 2021 and have partnered with leading startup enablers and accelerators from around the world to provide the community with greater access to financing, networks and mentorship. As the global economy looks to the future, Abu Dhabi's ecosystem is well-positioned as the region's foremost investment destination for big thinkers to realise their ambitions."

In addition to the Microsoft agreement, ADIO is also partnering with the likes of ADGM, Hub71, ADQ and Mubadala as part of its role connecting investors and startups to opportunities, while a partnership with Plug and Play will see ADIO support the innovation platforms' accelerator programmes. Two current programmes focus on fintech and healthtech, while a third covering a different sector will launch in the first half of 2021.

Learn more on the ADIO website.




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