Startup Accelerator Startupbootcamp to set up MENA HQ at DIFC

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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DIFC Dubai International Financial Centre
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One of the largest industry-focused start-up accelerators, Startupbootcamp is setting up its the Middle East and North Africa camp at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) as it seeks to expand its relationship with the financial free zone of the emirate.

Startupbootcamp, part of Rainmaking, a global innovation and investment development agency, and DIFC are currently running a three-month annual growth program that helps local start-ups scale up their operations and improve their enterprises.

Arif Amiri, who is the Chief Executive of the DIFC Authority said that “Our strategic partnership with Startupbootcamp strengthens our commitment to shaping the future of finance and supporting Dubai’s position as the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.”

Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai accelerator, launched in 2018 in collaboration with DIFC, the multinational payment firm Visa, HSBC and Mashreq, has so far graduated 20 payments, lending and Islamic digital banking Fintech startups.

The growth of the FinTech sector has become a focal point for onshore financial hubs in Dubai over the past three years. According to the statement, there are more than 200 FinTech firms based out of the DIFC, accounting for over 50% of all FinTech firms in the GCC.

DIFC FinTech Hive has tripled in size during the first half of this year, opening up a larger space on Gate Avenue in the financial free zone. Currently, the DIFC is conducting three ongoing programs – the DIFC FinTech Accelerator, the FinTech Hive Scale-Up and the Startupbootcamp scheme – that supports start-up at various stages of development.

Lars Buch, chief executive of Rainmaking Mena & Russia, said that “since 2017, Rainmaking and DIFC have been partnering to attract the best FinTech start-ups from around the globe, and we’re now working on launching together new and ambitious innovation programs that will generate a huge impact in the UAE.”

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