Applications Welcome: Lock&Stock Launches Founder's Club Platform As A Launchpad For Young Entrepreneurs Dubai-based startup Lock&Stock is debuting the Founder's Club, an initiative to help and guide young entrepreneurs in the UAE kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.

By Pamella de Leon

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This one's for Gen Z's aspiring entrepreneurs: here is your chance to give your ideas a boost. Dubai-based startup Lock&Stock is debuting the Founder's Club, an initiative to help and guide young entrepreneurs in the UAE kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.

The journey to opening a business in the UAE is tough, and that's something Craig Fernandes can attest to. He is the co-founder and CEO of Lock&Stock, an app that provides students with an incentive to voluntarily put their phones away during class to gain reward points. "I'm 23, and I was 20 when we launched Lock&Stock. I know firsthand how hard it is to launch a startup when you're young, and especially so in the UAE."

Fernandes explains that the Founder's Club platform was born out of a need to guide young founders with the support they lacked when they were starting out. "The sad reality of startup life in the UAE is that entrepreneurship is primarily confined to an older, wealthier demographic; one that can afford to take risks," he says. "We didn't come from the glitz and glamour of Dubai Marina or JBR, but instead we grew up middle class, in the heart of old Dubai, on the streets of Deira, Ghusais, Karama, and Bur Dubai. Where we grew up, the startup culture does not exist. I attended high school at Dubai Scholars Private School in Qusais, and I do not know a single person from my graduating class that went on to launch their own company. Many of them may have had great ideas, but entrepreneurship simply was, and still is, a path frowned upon. With the Founder's Club, we want to change this perception."

Craig Fernandes, co-founder and CEO, Lock&Stock

The Founder's Club is welcoming applications for primarily tech-enabled startups that are solving a real-world problem and are scalable by nature. However, along with a bold idea, they are also looking for Gen Z founders who "dare to think differently, are open to failure, and have a desire to change the world around them." He adds, "We at Lock&Stock are entrepreneurs at heart who firmly believe that innovation married with creativity has the ability to change the world, and so we will give special attention to startups that can potentially touch the lives of millions of people someday."

Fernandes describes it as unlike other incubator programs. "Launching a startup is a highly individualized experience, on that is unique to each idea, each founding team, and each business model." Through the Founder's Club, they will provide customized guidance and support to selected startups that allows best optimization of each startup's chances of survival and growth. "We will provide the founders' with access to our sales databases, marketing connections, tech developers and designers. And we will pick up the phone and connect them with the businesses and people they need in order to thrive."

Accepted startups will also receive a hands-on mentor to guide and nurture the company post launch. They will have access to Lock&Stock's team and network of VCs and angel investors.

To those considering applying to the platform, Fernandes notes that they designed to make the application form as simple as possible to encourage as many prospective entrepreneurs to apply. "When reviewing an application, the only questions we will ask ourselves are, "Is the startup actually solving a problem, and is this a problem worth solving?'" If you can convince the team to both questions as yes the application will be shortlisted and will move into the final round, which is a face-to-face interview with the founding team. From that point on, Fernandes says they're on the look out for communication, confidence and clarity.

To apply and find out more information, head to the website. The deadline for the applications is on July 24, 2020.

Related: Young Emirati Entrepreneurs Develop Business Ideas For A Better Tomorrow At INJAZ UAE's 'National Company Program Competition'

Pamella de Leon

Startup Section Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.

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