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India Accelerator eyes UAE startup ecosystem.

Summary: India Accelerator - launchpad for early stage technology start-ups - is keen on tapping UAE ecosystem, says Mona Singh, co-...

Sandhya D'Mello

(Supplied photo)

Mona Singh, co-founder, India Accelerator. (Supplied photo)

India Accelerator - launchpad for early stage technology start-ups - is keen on tapping UAE ecosystem, says Mona Singh, co-founder of India Accelerator (IA). The entreprenuerial paltform runs mentorship driven incubation and acceleration programmes for technology startups in consumer space, finance, gaming, e-commerce and mobility.

Chosen start-ups receive up to $25,000 in funding (perks, cash and services) and undergo a 4-month intense, rapid, and mentorship-driven programme aimed at accelerating the growth. In exchange, the accelerator picks up a single-digit equity in the start-up. The strategic goals are to create local jobs, foster entrepreneurial climate, promote innovation, generate wealth, increase female tech-entrepreneurial participation from current levels of nine per cent.

"We started with an idea to achieve both a financial return and a positive economic and social impact. Our guiding principle is to actively pursue positive change in the startup ecosystem. We typically fund technology oriented startups, but we are domain agnostic and are happy to look at any idea as long as it solves a customer pain. We are the only Indian partner of Global Accelerator Network, (GAN) and provide end-to-end solutions to a budding entrepreneur," said Singh.

Singh opines that the startups industry in UAE is booming, much like in India. However, UAE has its own advantages to offer. It's not just talent, educational institutions, opportunities, access to technology and market size but the ability to invest in startups by angel investors, VCs and the government.

"Lack of access to money at key stages is one of the most prominent reasons why startups fail but in UAE, startups have an added advantage of better investment opportunities as compared to their counterparts," she said.

The Indian startup platform is keen on expanding its operations in the UAE and Singapore. "We aim to strengthen our network of angel investors, that is, iAngel and create a cohesive fund to set-up vertical accelerators in growth-intensive areas such as tech-based, AI and blockchain to tap the UAE ecosystem," added Singh. Starting 2019, IA will focus on giving a boost to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India; explore better method of making startups successful and angel investing. "Our vision has expanded to forming a global network of entrepreneurs, investors and programmes. We also plan to cover both upstream and downstream parts of the ecosystem like collaborating with colleges/universities to build new entrepreneurs and going for growth-stage startups. We plan to expand geographically by building more centers across the globe like in UAE and Singapore."

India and UAE are getting closer in terms of bilateral relations as both countries have leapfrogged in terms of global reputation and foreign investment policy. Since UAE has pursued an aggressive strategy of diversifying its economy, Indo-UAE relations are going to get stronger in the near future, says the IA co-founder.

"Keeping in view the growing Indo-UAE economic and bilateral relations, we would love to look for avenues to collaborate and jointly explore growth-intensive opportunities. The upsurge in technology and its scope makes tech-based startups an interesting area to explore. Moreover, AI and blockchain are some riveting fields we can look into," Singh concludes. -

Sandhya D'Mello Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 18, 2018
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