Initiative by Microsoft for Startups and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office aims at bridging the gap between corporates and B2Btech startupsto transform the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) In a major boost to Pakistan’s vibrant startup ecosystem, Microsoft today announced that applications for its highly anticipated GrowthX Accelerator Program are now open.
GrowthX Accelerator was announced in January as part of a larger strategic partnership between Microsoft and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate opportunities in the region for startups. The GrowthX program is designed to bridge the gap between corporates with challenges and startups with solutions, and empowers B2B startups with the technology, mentoring and market access they need to thrive in the new global digital economy.
“Across the region, Microsoft customers across all industries and sizes are hungry for innovative solutions that will empower them to compete in what is now a truly global digital economy,” said Roberto Croci, Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups, MEA. “The global Microsoft for Startups program was created to support the creators of these solutions and connect them with the technology and purposeful partnerships they need to succeed. Our work with Abu Dhabi Investment Office on the GrowthX Accelerator program will lay important groundwork for that vision in the region by working to transform the region into a global technology and entrepreneurship hub.”
Pakistan has the potential to become the next big South Asian entrepreneurial hotspot. According to a report by MAGniTT, Pakistani startups saw $18M invested in the first half of 2020 alone, with the overall number of deals increasing by 13% as compared to the first half of 2019. Microsoft for Startups GrowthX Accelerator will empower B2B startups across the country and the region, by providing access to Microsoft’s ecosystem of customers and partners, and by leveraging the benefits that Abu Dhabi offers technology companies. Through intense community engagement, the program engenders connections and brings innovators together to learn, grow, become investor-ready and better engage corporates in the region.
GrowthX will include virtual and physical workshops and trainings, as well as a series of “demo days” and networking events where startups can showcase their visions to both venture capitalists and Microsoft’s regional customers. In the first 12-week phase, Microsoft will recruit 15 startups from across the region that solve the corporate challenges of its partners.
“Startups are essential to any economy, they catalyse innovation and new technologies that drive tremendous impact for all. Abu Dhabi is focused on creating a nurturing environment for startups and acting as a launch pad for them to bring fresh ideas to life here, make the most of opportunities across the region and scale globally,” said H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO. “As the founding partner of the GrowthX Accelerator, we are excited to work with Microsoft to unlock Abu Dhabi and the region’s rich economic potential and empower these home grown innovators with the tools they need in order to succeed in the new digital economy.”