DIFC Launches First Global Venture Studio Launchpad
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has announced the launch of the world’s first venture capital Studio Launchpad focused exclusively on ubiquitous finance technology and digital assets. The initiative is a key part of DIFC’s efforts to achieve its Strategy 2030 objectives of attracting the best minds and companies from around the world to Dubai by providing them with all the support they need to develop, test and launch new start-ups, scale and corporate ventures on an unprecedented scale, with unprecedented time-to-market and quality.
To realise this vision, DIFC is launching a dedicated division called Studio Launchpad, which is supported by an international group of venture-building experts, digital asset pioneers and emerging technology strategists. Studio Launchpad is designed to attract and engage a consortium of leading start-up and corporate venture studios. This activity builds on DIFC’s unique ecosystem to enable collaboration and co-creation between venture studios, corporates, entrepreneurs, investors and academic partners from around the world.
Venture studios are innovative organisations that actively create and invest in start-ups and help them actively pursue success through their own internal capabilities. There are more than 730 active venture studios around the world. More than 50 per cent have opened in the last 5 years. The growth rate of corporate venture studios is even higher. According to a study published by the Global Startup Studios Network, new ventures created by studios have a 30 per cent higher success rate and around 5 per cent achieve ‘unicorn’ status.
The initiative will make Dubai a leading venture capital hub in the MENA region, joining the likes of San Francisco, New York, Berlin and Paris. Over the next five years, DIFC will create more than 20 studios that are expected to launch more than 200 new ventures, of which more than 100 will be large-scale and 10 will achieve ‘unicorn’ status. Together, they will create more than 8,000 innovative jobs in Dubai and raise more than Dh2 billion in venture capital.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, said: “DIFC is already home to some of the largest financial and FinTech ecosystems in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The launch of the first global venture capital studio Launchpad is one of the core elements of our vision to put DIFC at the heart of the digital transformation of the financial sector in the UAE and globally, reflecting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
Studio Launchpad simplifies the company formation process and accelerates the development of new companies that will form the backbone of DIFC’s rapidly evolving ‘Ubiquitous Finance’ ecosystem. Launchpad also facilitates the fundraising and scaling of new ventures by giving venture capital studio operators access to a global network of potential customers, entrepreneurs, investors and subject matter experts, all backed by a progressive regulatory environment and world-class infrastructure.
Part of the Studio Launchpad offering will be a first-of-its-kind Research Living Lab that will foster thought leadership and actionable research in this rapidly evolving space to discover new opportunities and generate data and insights that can help shape existing and future business models, laws and regulations.
DIFC has begun construction on a new 150,000+ square foot building that will house the Studio Launchpad team, working alongside corporate sponsors, investors and the new ventures they co-create. Every aspect of the design encourages spontaneous interaction that builds community, builds partnerships and stimulates innovation.
The Ubiquitous Finance innovation ecosystem and Studio Launchpad was developed by DIFC in partnership with Dubai-based venture capital studio Enhance Ventures and Silicon Foundry, a leading innovation consultancy group in Silicon Valley.
The future of finance is bigger than any single company, government or person. DIFC creates an environment in which world-class entrepreneurs, leading venture studios and forward-looking corporations come together to envision a new world in which financial services will be digitised, decentralised and ubiquitous.
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