District 2020’s Scale2Dubai to attract 1st cohort of 85 startups by 2022

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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District 2020
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Scale2Dubai, a global entrepreneurship program of District 2020, the UAE’s first 15-minute city of future, will welcome the first cohort of 85 startups and small businesses before the end of 2022, joining the diverse organizations living and working in the post-Expo 2020 Dubai community.

This is a big step forward in the implementation of the Expo 2020 Dubai site’s plans and the long-term impacts it aims to have.

The World Expo will close its doors on March 31st, 2022. 80 percent of Expo-built structures will be reimagined and reworked to create a mixed-use, flexible environment where people can live, work and explore, and a hub for global tech innovation with the first business, tenants are set to take up their places from the fourth quarter of 2022.

District 2020 will advance the ambitions of Expo to bring diverse thinkers together to collaborate and devise solutions for a smarter, more sustainable future. Part of this will be the innovative ecosystem and community it seeks to create, encompassing government, Fortune 500s, academic institutions, accelerators, incubators, labs, VCs, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and startups.

Tala Al Ansari
Tala Al Ansari
Director – Scale2Dubai

“This is an exciting milestone that reiterates District 2020’s commitment to continuing Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy of supporting entrepreneurs and contributing to Dubai’s status as innovation-driven global startup capital. Only 50 percent of startups make it to their fifth year, so we are proud to have designed a program that supports them on this journey and eagerly look forward to welcoming Cohort 1 to District 2020 during Q4 of this year. We plan to host a new cohort every year at District 2020 and look forward to our second cohort moving in by April 2023.”

The human-centric city seeks to play a role in enabling regional and global startups to scale up within Dubai, providing an ideal launchpad and gateway to access the MENA region. By enabling startups and small businesses through its Scale2Dubai program, District 2020 builds on Expo 2020 Dubai’s efforts to fund and empower innovating budding businesses, with the potential to create long-term positive economic and social impacts.

The first cohort of 85 promising businesses from 27 countries were selected from 628 shortlisted applications, each of which went through a rigorous evaluation by three judges from a technically qualified pool of 50.

Related: 20 Million Visitors; Expo 2020 Dubai achieves remarkable milestone