Applications open for Microsoft’s GrowthX accelerator program

Microsoft for Startups Middle East has announced the opening of applications for the third cohort of its highly engaging GrowthX Accelerator Program.

The organization has also opened-up free registrations for the latest instalment of its popular Highway to 100 Unicorns virtual conference series.

The GrowthX Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns initiatives are part of a broader strategic partnership between Microsoft and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to accelerate the growth of B2B tech startups across the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan.

“Startups play a key role in driving economic growth, job creation and diversification. Tech startups in particular offer significant opportunities to accelerate innovation across the UAE and the region by bringing creative and unique solutions to various challenges. Abu Dhabi is committed to supporting and nurturing the growth of innovative businesses, and our ongoing partnership with Microsoft for Startups through the Growth X Accelerator and Highway to 100 Unicorns initiatives is a key enabler to us achieving this,” said Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General at ADIO.

GrowthX Accelerator

The 10-week virtual accelerator program runs from 19 September – 25 November and equips founders with the essentials required to successfully scale their startups to Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Applications to join the program are open to B2B tech startups from across the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan that are looking to establish operations in the UAE capital.

Primarily geared towards growth-stage startups ranging from the Seed to Series A spectrum, the GrowthX Accelerator empowers B2B tech startups by offering training opportunities that focus on enterprise sales and technical readiness for scale. Through technical and commercial acceleration, the program creates connections and brings innovators together to learn, grow, become investor-ready, and improve engagement with potential regional customers.

“After two successful instalments of the GrowthX Accelerator program, we are thrilled to open applications for a third cohort of innovative tech startups to be empowered to achieve more,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager: Microsoft UAE. “We recognise the potential that startups bring to accelerate digital transformation across the region. Through initiatives like GrowthX, we demonstrate our commitment to supporting their growth journeys and preparing them for scale. We look forward to harnessing these businesses and further strengthening the important role Abu Dhabi plays in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Highway to 100 Unicorns

Microsoft for Startups Middle East also announced that free registrations for its popular virtual conference series, Highway to 100 Unicorns, are open. Hosted in partnership with ADIO via a series of live events on LinkedIn, Highway to 100 Unicorns unites thought leaders from across the region to address the issues

faced by growth-stage founders in the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan. Some of the confirmed speakers for the upcoming series include Muneeb Mayr (Founder of Bykea), Hasan Haider (Managing Partner at Plus Venture Capital), Serene Shalan (Head of Strategic Partnerships at ADIO), and Dana Baki (Co-Founder of MunchOn).

“We’ve received fantastic feedback from startups and speakers who’ve participated in previous instalments of our Highway to 100 Unicorns series, so we look forward to hosting another series of virtual talks and driving further impact in the growth journeys of startups across the region,” Yazbeck said. “This time around, we are focusing on participants who are growth-stage founders and eager to succeed in a rapidly globalizing digital economy where success relies on the ability to make the right moves at the right time with the right technology. I have no doubt that attendees will gain exceptional value from the series.”