Dubai Next had 2,044 applicants in its first year, with 17 successful campaigns.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
Dubai Next, the government’s first digital crowdfunding platform for start-ups, supports innovative ideas and projects by providing them with valuable opportunities to raise the funding needed to grow and become sustainable businesses in the emirate’s many sectors.
The digital platform is set to evolve into an effective tool for implementing the leadership mandate to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dubai, and achieve the vision of making the emirate a better city to live, work and invest.
Dubai Next was launched in May 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and has since been managed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Dubai). . SME), an agency of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). The platform serves as a window to entrepreneurial creativity and an accelerator for innovative business.
According to Abdullah Abbasi, the founder of Brinzo, Dubai Next has helped him achieve many of his goals, played an important role in enabling him to get the funding needed to start his project, and contributed to supporting his company’s marketing strategy.
“I got a lot of support from the platform, and the enthusiasm that was shown was beyond my expectations, leading to a great journey for me. The Dubai Next team was always the first to contact me to complete the launch of my project, and today, I launched my company, Brinzo, through which I create toys for all ages.The core principle of our business is to bring families together around the same table, away from phone or computer screens.
Technical expert Ahmed Al-Zarouni said: “Through the crowdfunding strategy of the Dubai Next platform, we were able to publish the English version of the book ‘Technical Thinking,’ and I believe this is the first time in the Middle East for a book. published with this funding method. Dubai Next is a unique platform, and I was impressed by its capabilities as well as the design of its organizers. Reaching my funding goal shows the success and confidence of the platform and the growing interaction of the community with social collaboration to create something new and special.
Ghaith Al Bustanli, Founder of Solaris Solutions, said: “Dubai Next gave me a platform to present my project to my family, investors and the community, and attract those who are interested. We were able to raise the necessary funding to launch Solaris, a technology startup that provides products and services innovative in the field of energy.I encourage every entrepreneur and innovator to visit this platform to realize their ideas.
The objectives of the Dubai Next platform are in line with DET’s strategy to support the creation and development of SMEs, facilitate the growth of start-ups and provide services that promote innovation and digital technologies.
Develop and improve platform programs for 2022-2024
Dubai Next will develop and improve its existing programs to meet the needs of young students and creatives and entrepreneurs. One of the goals set in the 2022-2024 Dubai Next roadmap is to reach 10,000 students through capacity building programs, including training workshops, consultations, and project funding. The platform is also working on the ‘Project Startup’ programme, which is an integrated development tool designed to equip beneficiaries with the necessary entrepreneurial skills by providing a unique combination of services, such as training, mentoring and licensing. It also introduces entrepreneurs to Dubai Next and provides ongoing support throughout the startup journey. The program is designed to assist companies in gaining momentum and accelerating their growth.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said the goal is to attract more ideas, contributors and partners in line with the emirate’s focus on new technologies and industries.
“Dubai Next has provided a competitive and effective solution to the funding challenges faced by those who want to turn their ideas into viable projects. It is not only an important addition to the start-up ecosystem in Dubai but also enables the important strategy of the emirate to become a global hub for entrepreneurship and digital economy,” Al Janahi added.
In its first year, Dubai Next enabled 17 start-up ideas in various sectors to raise their required funds. Anyone, including students as young as 12, can share their ideas about Dubai Next and run a crowdfunding campaign.
Currently, Dubai Next has 82 campaigns run by 2,044 applicants and 750 contributors, including businesses, investors, and friends and families of the campaign owners. The campaigns cover various sectors, such as technology, education, health, food, sports, fashion, art, tourism, gaming and publishing. Campaign owners include citizens of the UAE, USA, Canada, Egypt, India, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia and Grenada, representing a wide range of designers who use Dubai as a launch pad for their projects.
Dubai Next has also enabled the community to fund various other projects, including Sustainable Builder, a mobile app concept for managing construction waste developed by a group of students at UAE University, and Ubuntu, a highly integrated platform developed by students at GEMS Modern. Academy Dubai to reduce food waste.
Recently, Dubai Next participated for the second year in ‘Careers UAE’ from 20 to 22 September 2022, with ‘The Next You’ competition organized in partnership between Ru’ya Careers to support the next generation of creative and emerging across schools and universities. and provide them with the necessary skills to become successful entrepreneurs.
The contest received about 150 ideas, 40 of which were shortlisted for the final stage. The finalists were students aged 16 to 22 from 14 educational institutions. Finally, 11 winning ideas were selected and the top three were presented on stage on the final day of the exhibition. Winners are eligible for cash prizes and access to the services of the Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2) in Dubai SME.
Considering the important role of tourism in the country’s economy, Dubai Next, in collaboration with the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), supported the start of raising the necessary funds as part of the ‘Medyaf’ program aimed at promoting the Emirate. entrepreneurship in the tourism sector.
Dubai Next also attended Gitex and the World Congress on Creative Economy held in Dubai in 2021, enabling 500 students and young people to learn about startups and funding. Zoho, one of the world’s leading technology companies, has also been listed as a partner in the platform to help startups achieve growth and competitiveness.