Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi Meets Senior Representatives, Angel Investors, Startups at in5 in Dubai

02 May 2021

His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, has visited in5, TECOM Group’s enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups. During the visit, H.E was briefed by the in5’s leadership on the achievements of emerging startups and engaged in discussions around future opportunities to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE, and establish the UAE's position as a talent hub.

H.E. toured in5 Tech Centre with senior representatives from Dubai Holding including Abdullah Belhoul, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Holding Asset Management, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, and Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City. High-level meetings with angel investors and entrepreneurs contributing to the region’s booming startup ecosystem also took place.

During the visit, Majed Al Suwaidi presented the startups ecosystem in the UAE, the leading incubator’s achievements and current portfolio of innovative startups. Between 2013 and mid-2020, in5 has supported more than 450 local and international startups across tech, media and design and supported them raise over AED 465 million in funding and direct investments.

It currently fosters more than 200 active startups and many more have successfully graduated and are supporting Dubai’s economic growth and diversification efforts.

H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi met several innovative startups including Desert Control, which offers a solution to revolutionise the war against desertification and food security; Derq, an award-winning artificial intelligence platform that eliminates road accidents and save lives; Emirati women-led training platform Sxill Labs; and influencer networking community Ushine.

Venture capital firms Dubai Angel Investors and Global Ventures provided an outlook on the regional funding landscape and shared recommendations on boosting the attractiveness of the UAE’s startup ecosystem to global investors.

His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), said: “The UAE scores notably high on key global indicators, establishing itself as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs from around the world. This accomplishment has been largely driven by the directives of our wise leadership in support of startups and small and medium enterprises, which it considers to be a key ingredient in achieving our goals to build a sustainable, innovation-led knowledge economy.”

“We work to promote entrepreneurship among young people, establish supportive environments, and provide advanced services, incentives, and facilities that allow their startups to thrive,” H.E. Al Falasi added. “This, in turn, serves to diversify the economy, ensure its sustainability, and boost its global competitiveness.”

“The UAE is home to inspiring examples of successful companies that began as startups and grew into pioneers in their respective industries, wielding significant influence in countries around the region and the world.” H.E. continued. “The startups sector supports economic growth by promoting creativity and innovation, nurturing talent, and actively working to find sustainable solutions to the challenges facing sectors of strategic importance.”

H.E. Dr Al Falasi applauded in5 – the Dubai-based enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups – for its role in empowering talented and creative individuals. “in5 provides an integrated and supportive environment with advanced services that motivate entrepreneurs to be creative and propose ideas that accelerate the transition towards a knowledge economy and help build a better future for the next generations,” H.E. noted.

Majed Al Suwaidi, said: “The UAE has developed a competitive startup ecosystem that has become an attractive destination for global entrepreneurs and investors. State-of-the-art infrastructure, business-friendly regulations, digital government services. The UAE’s entrepreneurial spirit has empowered startups with big ideas to create opportunities in high-growth areas. We are excited about the region’s startup ecosystem and look forward to contributing to the country’s knowledge and innovation-based economy that nurtures homegrown and international talent.”

“We were delighted to welcome HE Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi to in5 and commend his efforts to strengthen the SME sector.”

“Established in 2013, in5 is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and startups. in5’s incubation programme offers startups five key benefits: simplified business setup, creative co-working spaces and specialised facilities, mentorship, workshops and networking events, as well as investor access. A steering committee comprising more than 20 experts representing companies, such as Accenture, Microsoft and Chalhoub Group, provides strategic direction”. Al Suwaidi highlighted

in5 has a membership scheme that offers students, freelancers, professionals and entrepreneurs with access to the prototyping labs, 3D printers and creative facilities at competitive rates.

The UAE has continued to create a supportive and enabling environment for startups and entrepreneurs, providing all the necessary rules, regulations, infrastructure and services to improve ease of doing business. This has continued to strengthen the country’s position an attractive destination for talent, investment and innovation.

In this context, the UAE has been ranked first in the in the region, and fourth globally according to the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2020 by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, climbing up from its fifth ranking in the 2019 report. The country outperformed many of the major global economies such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, European Union countries, China, Japan and South Korea in the overall rankings of the index.