Matchmaking event for GCC start-ups

A matchmaking event for GCC start-ups and EU-based corporates aims to result in partnerships and investment
By Tamara Pupic
Tue 16 Jun 2015 03:48 PM

Gulf-based start-ups and SMEs are invited to apply for a matchmaking event in Dubai to explore corporate opportunities and assess the strategic fit with EU-based companies.

The first EU GCC Connect event, hosted by Startup MENA, will be held on 24 June at Grosvenor House, Dubai.

EU-based corporates including KLM, Sanoma, Rabobank, Arvarto and Admiral Group have confirmed the attendance at the event.

“We will have cherry picked 10-20 GCC growth stage start-ups that will meet with these corporates,” Jakob Kistorp, co-founder of StartUp MENA and founder of Venture Scout, told media recently.

Interested start-ups are invited to submit their online proposals on how they could add strategic value to each of the companies.

Startup MENA, an initiative funded by the Danish Foreign Ministry and Confederation of Danish Industry and supported by The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme, is part of the EU-GCC Trade and Business Cooperation Facility project.

It aims at strengthening dialogue and partnerships between businesses from the two regions.

The project is being implemented by Venture Scout, a Copenhagen-, Berlin- and London-based company helping corporates connect with start-ups worldwide.

Throughout the year, they will be organising a series of workshops and events on how to open up businesses in Europe and the GCC as well as how to enhance cooperation between start-ups and large corporations in the two regions.

Earlier this year, they organised their first regional competition, StartUp MENA GCC Pitch Challenge, supported by the Federation of GCC Chambers, BUSINESS EUROPE and Confederation of Danish Industry, and funded by EU Commission.

Among 12 tech entrepreneurs from Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, Bridg, a Dubai-based secure payment platform, won the first prize at the finals held at Dubai Internet City at the end of April.

Moussa Beidas, the founder of Bridg, received prize funds of €20,000 ($21,300), a free ticket to participate in the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, and an opportunity to pitch at the MENA Angel Summit in Bahrain.

While EU-GCC Connect aims to establish ties between GCC start-ups and EU corporates, the projects other initiative - StartUp GCC project – is developed for EU start-ups wanting to expand to the GCC. A series of workshops will be held in Brussels, London, Rome and Berlin.

Start-ups interested to meet EU-based corporates in Dubai on 24 June are invited to apply here: www.eugcc-connect.com/index-eu

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