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Dubai's top incubators & accelerators according to founders and investors.

This report has been compiled from contributions of founders and investors from the Dubai Ecosystem from the 18th of Jan, 2023 til the 14th of Feb, 2023, as part 4 of DSRPTD MAG's Dubai Venture City Guide.

TDeFi (Web3 Focused)


Sheesha Finance (Web3 Focused)

Sheesha Finance have a structured detailed hands-on approach to incubating and accelerating projects. The experience of the team is varied, from all different parts of businesses. Variation in a startup is very important to the organizational culture of the team and the work ethic. Sheesha Finance aim to solve the teething problems early-stage projects have in web3 by guiding them through the stages necessary to be prepared for launch of business.

Y Combinator (Sector Agnostic)

As the world's leading incubator and accelerator, Y Combinator always adds value.

You can apply to their accelerator programme on their website.

You can access the Y Combinator's Startup School Curriculum listed on DSRPTD Expeditions (The Open Accelerator of the World) here.

DIFC Fintech Hive / DIFC Innovation Hub (Fintech Focused)

Led by experienced CXOs in the fintech and financial services industry coupled with a strong ecosystem and government support. Also the consistent quality of their seminars & events.

In addition to the Fintech Accelerator Programme they also have a Metaverse Accelerator Programme.

Dubai Future Accelerators (By Dubai Future Foundation) - Sector Agnostic

Strong ecosystem and government support.

Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) facilitates the dynamic collaboration between startups, private entities and government to work on prespecified challenges relevant to our future. DFA combines startups’ innovation and agility with the scale of forward-thinking public and private sector organisations. DFA positions Dubai as an attractive destination for startups and entrepreneurs, and as a citywide testbed for innovative technology.

You might also want to discover AREA 2071 (Dubai Future Foundation's Innovation Ecosystem).

Contributors to the Dubai Venture City Guide report:

Feroz Sanaulla, Global Co-Head of Crypto Economy and Partner at Roland Berger heading Financial Services, mainly fintech, insuretech and digital banking solutions. He has been active in building the operational blockchain solutions business offering to financial services companies (e.g. identity solutions, L/C and escrow solutions, 3rd party interaction protocols for banks. He has a vast regional network and am often a sounding board to C-level executives regionally. He has traveled extensively and has worked with clients in US, Europe and Asia.

With his past experience as a VC, he has also assisted incubators and worked with all of the major regional and silicon valley based VC and PE funds

Nathan Cooper, Chief Program and Innovation Officer at Sheesha Finance.

Nathan Cooper, MBA is a highly skilled and experienced Strategy and Execution professional with a proven track record of defining and delivering change plans to drive business readiness and employee adoption. With 20 years of experience, he has successfully led initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the US and Canada, focusing on Operational Excellence, Change Management and is passionate about building ecosystems, connecting needs to resources, addressing root causes of complex systems problems and impacting culture change.

Nathan's exceptional communication, collaboration, and presentation skills, along with his ability to work with geographically dispersed teams, make him a valuable asset in fostering strong global partnerships, aligning business strategy and delivering communications and training interventions. He uses his experience in customer-centred design thinking, critical analysis and synthesis, data analytics, technical expertise, and interdisciplinary collaboration to innovate experiences, product-service development, and workflow efficiency.

As the Chief Program and Innovation Officer of Sheesha Finance, Nathan drives organizational growth through innovative solutions and effective team management, consistently delivering measurable results across the business development, marketing, IT and projects departments. He also advises on innovation and new technologies to clients, investors and startups he advises. He was previously a Senior Program Manager at Société General and a Technical Program Manager of Operational Analytics at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, holding multiple certifications including Scrum and Agile, and is In his final year completing his doctoral studies in Strategy and Innovation.

Jorge Sebastiao, CEO at Global Blockchain Organization, and Co-Founder of EcoX.

International ICT speaker. Seasoned CTO, with Blockchain, Web 3.0, AI, NFT, IoT, Gaming, Digital Twin, Cyber Security, Managed Services, Cloud Computing, Big Data, & ICT innovation professional focused on business value; brings experience, creativity, structure, motivation, & agility. Over 35 years of ICT experience, covering, innovation, architecture as well as risk management, compliance, auditing, certification, business continuity, & disaster recovery. Served sectors include Telecom, Oil & Gas, Financial , Government, Defense, HealthCare, & Education. Created the process A6 of security: Assess, Architect, Apply, Administer, Awareness & Agility. He architects practical & business focused solutions using standards & industry best practices.

He has been the speaker at numerous international conferences with topics including: ICS Security, ICT Security, Business Continuity, ICT Architecture (TOGAF), Wireless Security, Regulatory Compliance, Physical Security, Biometrics and Smart Cards, Ethical Hacking, ISO27001, ISO27002 (ISMS), ISO2000 (ITIL), ISO13335 (Risk Management), ISO22301 (BCMS), CobIT, Basel II, EMV-2, PCI-compliance, SOX, Info warfare, Fraud, Identity Theft, SAP-Security, CISSP, Forensics & Incidence Response.

Jorge is action and results oriented with passion to deliver a results in a collaborative approach.

Mr. Sebastiao also co-authored book "La Face Cachée du Credit".

Languages Advanced: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

Learning: Italian, Greek, Arabic, Russian

Quote “Information security is a continuous skilled process…”

Specialties: Cyber Security, Cloud Services, blockchain, big data, IoT, Managed Services, Business Continuity, BCP, Disaster Recovery, DRP, Virtualization, CMS, Workflow, Storage Management, Infrastructure, Information Security, IT Architecture, TOGAF, Satellite, Wireless, VoIP, Managed Services, Physical Security, Homeland Security, CCTV, Training, Security Awareness, Ethical Hacking, Security Monitoring, Forensics, Data Recovery

Muhammad Salman Anjum, Salman has been named a “Top 100 Blockchain Leader in World.” As a Founder and Chief Mate of InvoiceMate he is co-creating future of invoice financing with blockchain enabled invoice financing marketplace. Aiming to solve real world business issue of inefficient invoice processing and enabling businesses reach out to all important working capital finance.

A key influencer in the space of Enterprise Blockchain adaption, Salman has moderated events & presented keynotes at stages around the world including a talk at esteemed TEDx platform. He’s a Blockchain & FinTech specialist in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Faculty. A results-driven professional with over 20 years in corporate & entrepreneurial roles aligning People, Performance and Profit. He has been featured as success story in “Soul Beats @ UAE” the book published by Dubai Government. Pursuing his Doctorate degree, he is a CIPD Member and one of the pioneer Lead Auditors of ISO 29990:2010 for L&D operations.

Salman lives, plays and works in Dubai and on stages around the world committed to empower the human potential.

Walid Hanna, Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO of MEVP Middle East Venture Partners, a $260M AUM VC firm focused on Tech investing in MENA, with offices in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Riyadh, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Walid has been active in venture capital and new venture development for the past 20 years, successfully completed more than 50 VC investments in the past 10 years and several exits.

Walid has also co-founded, invested in, and led several startups in the MENA region, spanning a range of industries with a focus on technology. Walid holds a Bachelor's of Economics from McGill University (Canada), and a Master's in Finance from Hautes Études Commerciales, H.E.C (France).

Fatma Elsafty, Founder and CEO of MetaEssence.

Fatma ElSafty, is an experienced blockchain business and technical lead with over 15 years of hands-on experience in many vital businesses and the capacity of enterprise and solutions architecture division and enterprise IT solutions implementation and management in different industries including telecommunications, Banking, insurance, education, healthcare and government services. Coming from engineering background; Fatma was able to provide innovative IT solutions supported by solid architectural design using the latest technologies and platforms in the market. Her experience in blockchain and cloud computing enabled her to harness the power of both technologies and work with startups and big companies alike to scale up and achieve sustainable growth. Fatma's main passion is to use her skillset to shape today's technology into innovative, sustainable solutions that simplify, secure, and streamline vital business transactions to bring a high return on investment combined with high customer satisfaction. Fatma is a passionate self-learner and very curious to explore and try new ideas and share her experience with others. Her frequent participation in international technology summits exposed her directly to the latest innovations from every corner of the globe and enabled her to align her solutions to the market needs while building valuable business connections with customers, partners, technology providers, and colleagues.

Sleem Hasan, Founder and CEO of Privity. AKA The Father of Startups. Experienced Owner with a demonstrated history of working in Venture Capital and the Japanese Capital Markets. Skilled in Investor Relations, Securities, Asset Management, Investment Advisory, and working with Technology Entrepreneurs. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Part III Mathematical Tripos from Cambridge University & M.A.(Hons) Mathematics from Oxford University.

Ahmed Refaie, Founder, CEO, and Global CIO at G.P.I. Global Partners Investments Limited, and DSRPTD Host.

A Financial Engineer, Investment Architect, Mathematician and Computer Engineer who turned into the entertainment industry at a very young age to run the concerts for the most famous singers and Djs from all over the world at the most sought after and international venues. Shifted tremendously to leading a military troop as a lieutenant in the Air Defense Forces fulfilling his service.

Switched to business and finance and started the second wave of his career as an equity portfolio and fund manager, and FX trader. Deeply experienced in the hedge fund industry. Ahmed instructs the CFA Charter levels 2 and 3 as well as teaching on different topics for banking and investment professionals and practitioners such as Technical Analysis & Trading, Asset Selection and Allocation, Alternative Investments, Cryptoassets, Tokenisation, Hedge Funds, Family Offices, and Risk Management. Also with extensive experience in the MICE Industry engaging in running, organising, and managing Tech VC conferences and events globally.

Refaie is a four time entrepreneur in 4 different sectors (Retail, FnB, Education, and Finance) across two regions (Middle East and Europe).

Refaie leads G.P.I. the London based asset allocator for sovereign wealth and MFO Fund of Funds Manager Selection, as well as FDI Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Agency for governments for G2G Startup Acceleration Programmes and PPP Public Private Partnerships Investor Relations and Communication.

Refaie runs, manages, and administrates the Tech VC Browser of the World where they host their very own annual DSRPTD Summit (The world's most untold and unspoken off happening in the VC world) which brings the DSRPTD MBA Course to life, with a lot of initiatives and activities such DSRPTD Expeditions (The Open Accelerator of the World), Web3 Master Course, in addition to a Media Powerhouse (behind the PR, Marketing, speakers, and investors at almost all major tech & VC events and conferences from LA to Tokyo) consisting of DSRPTD Blog, DSRPTD MAG, DSRPTD Reports, DSRPTD News, DSRPTD Radio, and DSRPTD TV (On Demand Streaming of the World's Top Tech Events). Also DSRPTD Press (PR Wire). In addition to branch activities such as (Deal listing and launchpad), and (Open and free databases of all the investors in the world).

Refaie holds a BEng in Computer Engineering, the PMT Professional Market Trader Certification, Cambridge International Diploma in Business majoring in Marketing and HRM, the European Business Competence Licence Level A, and a MSc in Financial Engineering.

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