DIFC launches first global venture studio launchpad
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC has launched the world’s first venture studio platform exclusively focused on ubiquitous finance and digital asset technologies. The initiative is a key part of DIFC’s efforts to achieve the goals of its 2030 strategy by attracting the best minds and companies from around the world to Dubai by providing them with all the necessary support to develop, test and launch new start-ups, scale-ups and corporate ventures on an unprecedented scale, time to market and quality.
The dedicated unit called The Studio Launchpad streamlines the company-formation process and fast-tracks the development of new companies that will underpin DIFC’s quickly developing “Ubiquitous Finance” ecosystem. The Launchpad also supports fundraising and scaling of new ventures by providing resident venture studio operators with access to a global network of potential customers, entrepreneurs, investors, and subject-matter experts, all underpinned by a progressive regulatory environment and world-class infrastructure.
Supported by an international group of venture building experts, digital asset pioneers and emerging technology strategists, Studio Launchpad is designed to attract and engage a consortium of leading start-up and corporate venture studios. The effort builds upon DIFC’s unique ecosystem to enable collaboration and co-creation between venture studios, corporations, entrepreneurs, investors and academic partners from around the world.
With this initiative, Dubai will become the leading hub for venture building in MEASA and join cities like San Francisco, New York, Berlin and Paris. Over the next 5 years, over 20 studios will setup in the DIFC and are expected to launch over 200 new ventures of which over 100 will be scale-ups and 10 will gain unicorn status. Together they are expected to create over 8,000 innovation jobs in Dubai and attract over AED 2 billion in venture capital.
Part of the Launchpad offering will be a first-of-its-kind Research Living Lab which will drive thought leadership and hands-on research in this fast-evolving space with the aim to open new opportunities and produce data and insights that can inform how to shape existing and future business models, laws, and regulations.
The “Ubiquitous Finance” innovation ecosystem and Studio Launchpad was developed by DIFC in partnership with Dubai-based venture studio Enhance Ventures and Silicon Foundry.
The studio model is a great fit for the Middle East because of its proactivity and ability to support founders in the early days of operations. DIFC is the best place for the model to strive in the region as it is the largest cluster of leading financial institutions and fintech and Innovation companies. It provides the perfect mix of talent, quality infrastructure, strong regulatory offering, and financing.