Dubai Silicon Oasis launches SANDBOX

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), an integrated free zone technology park, announced the launch of SANDBOX, a first-of-its-kind startup program in the region aimed at supporting early-stage technology startups and attracting funding. The program, launched at GITEX Future Stars in October 2021, received more than 600 applications from startups and entrepreneurs within four months of launch.

Twelve applicants, all in technology-focused fields, were accepted for the 12-month program run by the Dubai Technology Campus for Entrepreneurs (Dtec), a DSO technology hub and co-working space, the largest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis, said: “Almost 95% of the companies operating in Dubai are small and medium-sized enterprises, and they employ 42% of the private sector workforce. Nevertheless, there is a gap in funding for startups and early-stage entrepreneurs. This program addresses exactly that problem and supports startups, especially those developing promising technology innovations, to get a fighting chance.”

Dr. Juma Al Matrooshi, CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis

SANDBOX is built on six key pillars – product development, new entrants, scaling, financial diagnostics, legal support and recovery. Supported by Dtec Ventures, the SANDBOX program builds on the existing vibrant community of start-up entrepreneurs at Dtec, the largest technology hub in the Middle East and North Africa. Recognizing the importance of supporting early-stage startups, Dtec offers SANDBOX participants exclusive startup rates as well as access to leading venture capital funds and a wide range of services provided by Dtec partners.

The 12 startups will undergo a structured training program, including theoretical and practical workshops, mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities designed to help them grow. Participants will benefit from 200+ hours of hands-on workshops in six key areas and 100+ hours of individual mentoring by practitioners and subject matter experts.

The first cohort of the program includes early-stage startups: Delivers. ai, an autonomous robot network specializing in last-mile delivery; Distichain, a platform that provides white-label B2B marketplaces as a service using blockchain and artificial intelligence; Ingeniodata, an IoT company offering an indoor routing solution that combines maps, augmented reality and Bluetooth beacon technology; Hifz, an app that allows cafes and/or restaurants to commercialize expired foods by selling them at discounted prices; and Revent, a specialized B2C marketplace dedicated to used devices.

Other participating startups include Konspot, a video conferencing platform that allows developers to integrate video meetings into existing business applications; Hulexo, a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems using “low code” technology and rapid application development; AHAD, a B2B marketplace for cyber solutions, including cybersecurity, compliance and digital transformation; DUDI, a social sports marketplace that allows everyone to access and truly enjoy sports; Oslo Pet Insurance, a cloud-based str

Dtec offers co-working spaces, business acelerators, research centers, event spaces, and digital business creation support, including licensing. It hosts more than 1,000 startups from 75 countries. Through Dtec, the DSO supports entrepreneurs, startups and innovators, especially those working in technology, artificial intelligence and digitalization.

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