Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund is ‘Driving the Changemakers’

By DG Staff

DUBAI 15 October 2019: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, MBRIF, participated in the GITEX Future Stars exhibition, held from 6th to 9th, October, 2019, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, as part of the 39th GITEX Technology Week, to engage directly with innovators and discuss how the MBRIF can support their growth journey through its flagship programmes.

Its two flagship programmes include the Guarantee Scheme, which provides innovators with access to financial support in the form of federal government-backed credit guarantees, and the Innovation Accelerator, which supports innovators to unlock their true potential by providing access to world-class experts, coaching, industry insights and other key resources.

Day one of the GITEX Future Stars also saw the MBRIF Accelerator officially open the door to applications for its Winter Cohort.

The MBRIF Accelerator’s Managing Director, Alexander Collins, said, “With our activities at this year’s GITEX, the MBRIF essentially brought together a holistic entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UA, from subject-matter expert sessions, to pitching masterclasses, strategic partner presentations, and innovator showcases.”

The MBRIF organised a host of activities at the GITEX Future Stars with innovators in mind, including “Mentorship Clinics” by several industry experts working with the MBRIF, “Member Showcases” to spotlight their members, and the “Pitching Masterclass” for innovators to receive on-the-spot feedback from the MBRIF team. Additionally, the leadership team participated in “MentorMe” clinics, talking about what the MBRIF’s purpose is and what it offers its members.

The MBRIF Mentorship Clinics featured Michael Gernon, CEO of GEMS Education; Sherif Tawfik, Regional Director for Commercial Partners and Channel Business at Microsoft Gulf; Shane Shin and Wendy Sfeir, Co-Founding Managing Partner, and Legal Counsel at Shorooq Investments, respectively; Natalie Sleiman, Partner and Head of Technology Practice at Stanton Chase – Middle East; Lamis Harib, Co-founding Partner and Marketing Director at Ecabiotec Middle East; and Stewart Kirkham, Director in EY MENA’s Advisory Practice focused on Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction.

The MBRIF’s coaching team also gave valuable feedback to innovators through the Pitching Masterclasses, featuring Zayd Raoof, Omar Annous, Gordon Suttie, and Nabeel Rehman from the MBRIF. Meanwhile, the Member Showcase saw consecutive presentations from various members of both programmes, namely Addenda, Nabta Health, Pure Harvest, Lamsa, CarSwitch, Smart Crowd, Kinteract, Oliv, Heyraat e-Store, Smart Labour, RAZRLAB, Optimus, EVA and Hey Doc! On 8th October, Fatima Alnaqbi, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Finance, along with Fadi Amireh, Director of Business Finance at Emirates Development Bank, overseeing the MBRIF Guarantee Scheme, and Collins presented and held meetings throughout the exhibition to shed light on the MBRIF’s experiences. The MBRIF reported that more than 700 attendees visited the stand and participated in the various workshops and sessions.