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It's Now or Never: 5 Startup Accelerators you Can Apply to This Week

The fall season is bringing loads of opportunities for Arab entrepreneurs, form massive MITEF Pan-Arab to Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, Speed BDD in Beirut.

Staff Writer

The mammoth Gitex Future Stars conference has just taken off in Dubai, crystallising an ever growing startup landscape not only in the GCC region, but also North Africa and all across the Middle East. As the MENA gets prepped for an eventful autumn, with plentiful events leading up to the Riseup Summit in December, we've compiled a list of accelerators you can apply to, as get your startup up and running for 2018. From the prestigious MIT Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab Competition, to Jordan's Oasis 500 and Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, here's five accelerators you should apply to these coming months. 

1. Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi's and Cairo

This hustling regional accelerator has just opened applications for two of its major chapters: while Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi is running its 4th cycle, with a 4-months programme in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the Cairo chapter - the first in the MENA region, launched in 2011 - is launching its cycle 10. The lucky selected startups will receive seed-funding, mentorship, co-working space, entrepreneurship-focused trainings and workshops, as well as benefits from their partners, backed up by a strong network of educational institutions. You can apply to the Abu Dhabi accelerator here, and the Cairo chapter here.

2. MITEF Pan Arab Startup Competition 

One of the most powerful initiatives for the Arab world, the MITEF Arab Startup Competition happens once a year and challenges entrepreneurs in three different fields: Ideas Track, Startups Track and Social Entrepreneurship. Three winners are chosen after each of the three rounds of judging, with prizes of up to $160,000, as well as the chance to benefit from a range of other activities, such as mentorship, media exposure and networking. Previous winners have gone on establishing their own successful startups. Deadline is November 12th, and you can apply here.

3. TechStars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO

Dubai’s renowned leadership in technology innovation brought GINCO - a full service general contracting firm - and TechStars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, together for the launch of an accelerator programme for pioneering entrepreneurs finding innovative solutions in the transportation, construction, IoT, and robotics fields. A $100,000 convertible note is automatically offered to all Techstars companies upon acceptance, and $20,000 in exchange for 6 percent common stock. Startups are also given access to Techstars resources forever, intense mentorship, a network of over 5,000 key stakeholders is shared and office space for three months is provided. Interested applicants should sign up here before October 15th.

4. Oasis 500

The Jordanian early-stage accelerator, which has so far invested over $8 million in startups - is receiving applications from entrepreneurs with ideas in the Tech and Creative Industry sectors. Those who are selected enter the Business and Entrepreneurial Workshop, and are later awarded with an initial seed investment of $30,000 to $50,000, depending on their individual status and sector, in exchange for becoming a 5 percent – 15 percent shareholder. Applications are open here.

5. Speed BDD

The Lebanese leading accelerator selects 20 startups per year over two cycles of three months each. Selected teams will have to commit full time and move to Beirut for the three months, and will receive a $30,000 cash injection, plus in-kind services - including access to top mentors, experts, and industry connections - in exchange for a 10 percent equity. Even though their October cycle has recently closed, the accelerator, which focuses on scalable businesses in the fields of software, digital media, web and mobile, is already accepting applications for cycle VI, kicking off in March 2018 here.

Applications are open forPhoto by @MO4Network.


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