Innovating and Scaling in the Age of Uncertainty

Why UAE as a Global Startup Hub is the right place to get the traction your business needs

Mana Sultan Al Suwaidi

Successful businesses emerge when great ideas and entrepreneurs come together in a creative and nurturing environment that helps dynamic founders, with the help of the right talents, bring new concepts to life.

Undoubtedly startup scalability is the new heaven for investments diversification. Investors at all levels like HNI, family offices, shares and crowd-funding see great potential in technology especially post COVID-19 but need guidance in paring up with an innovator with similar passion and vision.

The need for an evolving Startup Studio was hence clearly evident way before COVID-19 but the recent crises strongly drive a larger force towards technology infrastructure and efficiency in all areas of business.

UAE’s strategic positioning as a vibrant hub for trade, finance, media, tourism, hospitality, talent and technology is an advantage, particularly as UAE has enablers already in place to emulate the success stories of startup ecosystems like Silicon Valley.

The vision of the UAE is focused on job creation for the future and each technology innovation that gets nurtured can offer up to 300 jobs filling in gaps with new ideas and improving on existing businesses. The different Emirates in the UAE have hence directed their focus towards startups.

According to the world’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2020, Dubai remains in the top 20 cities in the world’s Emerging Ecosystem Rankings. Sharjah ranks the top in high growth activation phase ecosystems in the GSER 2020, marking a milestone in the emirate’s journey towards becoming a thriving global startup hub. Abu Dhabi continues to invest heavily in infrastructure to motivate new startups and set aside funds to attract innovators locally and experts from the globe.

With an abundance in Risk Capital, UAE is open to a culture of bringing in expert foreign workforce to support the UAE Government’s commitment towards entrepreneurship and innovation supported by a legal framework that protects all parties in the areas of data privacy, IP Protection and cybersecurity.

The birth of the Strategi Startup Studio, the startup arm of Strategi Advisors was hence imminent. We aim to bring together innovative and forward-thinking visionaries to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE that engages not only entrepreneurs but also decision makers and encourage startups to aim higher in terms of visibility and impact than other parts of the world.

Strategi Startup Studio comprises of a dedicated team that helps build companies that start with an idea and inhouse experts help transform it into a fast growing product or business by creating favourable conditions and attracting the best global talent and capital.

Supported by Strategi Advisors that already has experts on board to cultivate a world class tech driven ecosystem, stakeholders as well as local and international entrepreneurs and startups can benefit from the team’s local know how, get clarity and be inspired to take their businesses to the next level.

Offering requirements of a conducive Tech Ecosystem with capital, talent, Infrastructure, market potential and supportive regulations, Strategi Startup Studio aims to make UAE a thriving global startup hub by working in synergy with the local government, incubators and accelerators.

Having experts within the Studio with decades of experience in bilateral commercial relations, senior management, international business, research and development, communications, marketing, event management, public relations and advanced technology, the government sector, diplomatic missions and the private sector, the Studio hopes to support job creation and economic growth within a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As the need to foster a culture of innovation grows, my personal vision is to inspire entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into companies using with the help of new age technologies, digital transformation and help leverage tech ecosystems to restart economies recovering from the COVID-19 lockdowns and help them thrive.

Having seen the potential of various startup studios around the world, UAE is ready to create its own hub for building businesses. The young generation is ready for this and coming from a pedigree of Emiratis keen on cultivating the vision and framework of leadership, entrepreneurship and “glocalization”, we aspire to demonstrate an advanced level of ecosystem development, characterized by cross-border venture building capabilities.

Strategi Startup Studio conceives, launches and scales local and international startups bringing innovative ventures to the city. We hope to build ventures with success stories for unicorns created in the UAE making local, regional and international impact.

Experts from Strategi Advisors will represent, support, and protect the growth of the startup business community with world-class expertise in every discipline required to build a market-leading company. Our objective is to collaborate with the most experienced and trusted partners to give direction to high growth startup entrepreneurs by listening, reflecting and guiding them along the way.

In the last four months, Strategi Startup Studio has been in investment discussions with a sovereign fund in Abu Dhabi and other regional venture capital investors to invest USD50 millions for exchange of equity in startups in the next five years.

Strategi Startup Studio does not invest capital in startups, we are a venture builder offering VaaS (Venture as a Service) to early stage startups (pre-seed/seed) in order to help them scale-up. We exchange essential and up-to-date information with startups and furnish them with resources needed to accomplish their goals.

To investors, UAE offers great potential for investment opportunities across multiple sectors as 60% of humanity exists within a 5-hour flying radius of UAE (China, India, Europe, Russia and North Africa).

While neighbouring countries are competing as conventional economies, UAE is evolving into a knowledge economy offering the perfect platform to connect startups, investors and enablers with relevant resources, accessibility and opportunities and Strategi Startup Studio is the first step towards building an ecosystem that rivals entrepreneurial hubs like the Silicon Valley.

Today more than ever companies need a forward-thinking strategy with new set of tools and frameworks to navigate through uncertainty and stay relevant. Strategi Startup Studio aims to do just that and guide businesses to think and act differently as well as gain leverage as ecosystems gain relevance to impact economies in a meaningful way.

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