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Dubai Startup Hub Launches Revamped Market Access Program For Startups And SMEs Seven major corporates have signed up to Dubai Startup Hub's latest edition of Market Access.

By Megha Merani

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Seven major corporates have signed up to Dubai Startup Hub's latest edition of Market Access, which pairs leading companies in the UAE with startups that offer innovative solutions addressing their key challenges.

Sanofi, Mediclinic, Sumitomo Corporation, Accenture, Dubai South, Emirates Post Group and Emirates NBD will list a series of challenges on the Market Access online portal, giving startups the chance to submit their solutions online and pitch their business concepts to potential business partners, Dubai Startup Hub, the entrepreneurship arm of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In its fourth cycle, the Market Access programme has received more than 500 applications from corporate and startups in previous rounds.

The latest edition has been revamped to offer a one-year membership to corporate participants, specialized workshops and access to a wider network of solutions, as well as the opportunity to list multiple challenges.

Meanwhile, startups that make the cut will benefit from training and pitching workshops, access to lucrative business opportunities, as well as a platform to boost their market exposure and build their brand reputation.

Speaking during a launch ceremony on Monday, His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, stressed the significance of programmes like Market Access in providing an effective platform for fostering innovation and forging partnerships between established companies and startups in Dubai.

He added that many large local and global companies have realized the benefits of collaborating with startups, with such partnerships are helping organisations successfully navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution and boost their competitive edge.

He said top companies in the UAE have continued to renew their participation in the programme, proving that they are seeing positive return on investment and benefit from the collaboration. Emirates Post Group, Emirates NBD, Sanofi and Sumitomo Corporation are amongst the returning corporates for the latest round.

The previous cohort of Market Access saw Emirates Post Group, Aswaaq, Axiom and Sumitomo Corporation sign initial cooperation agreements with several startups to collaborate on innovative solutions and projects that solve key challenges they are facing. An earlier edition saw UAE-based startups Tuitify, FOO, Rib & Wit and Evolvin' Women score deals with companies including Emirates NBD, one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East in terms of assets, global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi, and UAE-headquartered global conglomerate Nikai Group.

Launched in 2017, Market Access is a first-of-its-kind programme, which aims to enhance cooperation and facilitate deals between innovative startups and SMEs from around the world, and leading companies and government entities in Dubai.

Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Smart Dubai's Dubai Pulse Platform Lets Startups Take The Lead With Data

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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