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Dubai To Host First Kauffman Fellowship Summit In The Region
(2 February 2020)

 

Dubai will become the first city in the Middle East and North African, MENA, to host Kauffmann Fellows Summit, announced the Dubai Future Foundation on Sunday.

The globally renowned non-profit fellowship programme will take place between 9th and 12th February 2020, as the Emirate of Dubai fortifies its reputation for convening the world’s top talent to power a knowledge-based economy.

Hosting the summit comes as part of the recently announced Dubai Future District, an initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which seeks to support Dubai’s economy through various projects including the provision of a dedicated fund to promising startups and entrepreneurs. The new district, along with the new fund, will provide greater financing and legislative facilities and options for businesses, further affirming Dubai’s position as an ideal destination for global talents, entrepreneur and investors.

Marking its 25th anniversary, the annual Kauffman Fellowship Summit is set to gather 300 global entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists from over 30 different countries to develop a global network and discuss the innovation, business collaboration and investment climate of the Middle East and the UAE.

The four-day event will feature keynotes, panels, workshops, networking events, and peer-to-peer learning sessions for Fellows to discuss ways to ignite economic growth through innovative enterprise in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR.

Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Center and Director General of Dubai Tourism, stressed that hosting this global event in Dubai Future District represents an opportunity to explore investments in Dubai and the world, as well as, identify new global markets and sectors, in addition to highlighting various competitive advantages that Dubai provides to investors, such as offering an ideal environment for launching businesses, developing future innovations, and attracting global talent.

For his part, Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre, said that Dubai provides a unique and attractive investment opportunities in areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and advanced technology. He went on to note the importance of the role of Dubai Future District in strengthening local and global partnerships, "which in return provides support and funding for startups and entrepreneurs to successfully launch their businesses, therefore creating a positive economic leap in various sectors."

Dubai Future Foundation CEO, Khalfan Belhoul added, "Dubai has always been a magnet for visionaries who can power the new economy with an innovative approach to enterprise."

"In attracting the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, we are gaining momentum in our drive towards becoming a global hub for future technologies, as well as realising the outcomes of the '4th of January Document', announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, earlier this year," he added.

Belhoul continued, "We are pleased to partner with the Kauffman Fellows Summit to bring this prestigious event to the Middle East for the first time. At DFF, and though our many initiatives, including our efforts towards the newly launched Dubai Future District, we share a mutual perspective on the Kauffman belief that building enterprise is one of the most effective ways to spur the economy; it chimes with our aim to stimulate an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative start-up ecosystem that can provide solutions to key industries as we fuel economic growth through home-grown initiatives."

Jeff Harbach, CEO of Kauffman Fellows, said, "The United Arab Emirates is known for inspiring some of the world’s most ambitious projects, ideas, and people. Kauffman Fellows has built the largest global network of investors and innovation leaders that fuel these ambitious ideas. We are thrilled to host our 25th-anniversary Global Summit in Dubai, where we will celebrate our past, and look forward to our future and the future of global innovation in one of the most future-focused cities in the world."

Founded in 1995 by American pharmaceutical entrepreneur Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Kauffman Fellows Programme is a two-year venture capital fellowship which today boasts 589 fellows across 46 countries, and who have collectively overseen 7,700 deals since the programme’s inception. One hundred firms have been founded by Kauffman Fellows.

As Dubai cements it position as a knowledge-based economy, home to a thriving start-up scene fostered by DFF’s new economy-focused initiatives, hosting one of the world’s most revered venture capitalist programmes stands to advance the emirate’s economic competitiveness and attractiveness to a range of global players with a proven eye for enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The UAE is well on its path towards a diversified knowledge-based economy that is strengthened by world-class talent to ensure long-term successes for the nation. Acclimatising to new economic models and capitalising on global economic partnerships will lead to the country’s balanced growth and pledge long-term prosperity for current and future generations for years to come.

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