ME start-up funding to reach $1bn in 2018

April 2018

Start-up funding worth more than $1 billion is likely to be raised in the Middle East this year, according to Arabnet, an online hub for Arab digital professionals and entrepreneurs to connect and learn.

The funding could push up the start-up sector which is preparing for AIM Startup, the region’s largest mega start-up event, to be held from April 9 to 11, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, in Dubai, UAE.

Start-up movement in the Middle East is accelerating with 260 start-up deals generating $560 million in 2017, up from 176 deals raising $249 million in 2016 while governments are reducing entry-level barriers and improving the environment that is helping start-ups to expand fast, said a statement.

Registration is still open for start-ups to apply for the annual event. Any start-up in line with the theme “Technology For Sustainable Development And Inclusive Growth” and a business plan could vie for the final showdown for funding at the event, where venture capitalist and angel investors come to find the best start-up for funding.

As many as 200 start-ups will showcase their innovative products/services for three days and among them, the most worthy start-ups will be short-listed to pitch their projects to a panel of international expert and investors, potential business partners, corporate and government representatives, with a goal to attract capital investment and cash rewards.  AIM Startup winners will be awarded with various prizes, including a total cash prize of $50,000.

Jake Zeller, partner of AngelList, said: “I’m thrilled to serve as a judge for the AIM Startup 2018 pitch competition. This is an incredible opportunity for start-ups to connect with business leaders, investors and governments from all over the world. I can’t wait to see the presenting start-ups.”

An initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy, AIM Startup brings tech-entrepreneurs closer to investors, venture capital funds and mentors, to help new technology-driven solutions and companies start up and grow. The event runs concurrently with the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), a leading platform for foreign direct investment (FDI).

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