The Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive 12-week program that pairs top companies & cutting-edge entrepreneurs with powerful partners in Dubai to create breakthrough solutions together.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
The Crown Prince of Dubai and the
Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation
This is not about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. It's not about coding languages or SEO. We aren't going to tell you how to run your business or how to develop your website.
This is about changing the world. Today.
What are The Dubai Future Accelerators?
The Dubai Future Accelerators are an intensive 12-week program hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and the Government of Dubai. The program is designed to identify emergent technologies and businesses with the potential to address the world’s most pressing challenges and opportunities, and to support them in developing solutions and prototypes for rapid deployment across Dubai.
This is not a traditional accelerator. This isn't about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. It's not about coding languages or search engine optimization. We aren't going to tell you how to run your business or how to develop your website.
This is about changing the world. Today.
Innovation is happening at a faster pace than ever before, but the courage to test these ideas is not keeping pace. Real world applications are lagging, and truly transformative ideas often lack the political and financial support they need to be tested and deployed at a large scale.
The future needs champions: smart, powerful, and motivated partners with the knowledge to appreciate your ideas, the courage to make them real, and the budget to develop them at scale.
No one does this better than Dubai. This is why we created The Dubai Future Accelerators: a unique program that connects the world’s most ambitious companies and entrepreneurs with Dubai’s most ambitious public sector champions to tackle the most complex opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.
Who should apply to The Dubai Future Accelerators?
The program is open to all companies, individuals and teams of any stage and size, but you must have a working prototype or solution that can be tested in a real-world application. We’re looking for doers — for pioneers ready and willing to push the envelope of what is possible.
The goal of the Accelerators is to connect you and your ideas with the clients and decision-makers who can make them happen. The 12 week program is designed to help you get to know the relevant decision-makers and government departments who might be your clients and customers, then develop specific proposals for how to launch a pilot project together that can implement your ideas.
The outcome of the 12 weeks will be a specific set of fundable pilot projects that you can pitch to test your product, service or prototype at scale. Your ideas must therefore be suitably prepared to move rapidly into testing and deployment.
It is critical that you have at least one working prototype that can be developed into a larger proof of concept or pilot project in the real world.
The Accelerators aren't about going “from zero to one”, in the words of Peter Thiel. It’s about going from “one to one hundred”, in the words of MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito.
Whether you’re a garage inventor, a first-time entrepreneur, a university or a multi-national business, if you think you have a product or innovation that has what it takes to change the world, and you’re ready to move into real-world testing and application of your idea, then we welcome you to apply for this intensive, highly challenging program.
How does this differ from other programs?
Traditional incubators focus on churning out early-stage companies and new entrepreneurs, applying the same system to everyone in an effort to teach them to walk. And traditional accelerators help your existing business begin to grow and find its place in the market.
The Dubai Future Accelerators are neither of these. The Accelerators are about developing pilot projects and producing results that make a difference in the world. Our goal is to help you take your product or service prototype out into the real world, with real partners and real impact.
While this will no doubt help you and your company grow and scale, our goal is nothing less than the fundamental transformation of the most important industries and sectors of the 21st century.
What’s in it for me?
Our goal is to help you create the future, not just grow your company. You can get venture capital from anywhere, but no one else in can offer you the unique combination of power, speed, and access that Dubai can.
During the 12 week program, you or your team will work closely with leaders of Dubai, one of the world’s fastest growing and most dynamic cities, fully immersed in the culture and energy, supported by world-class mentors and experts.
In addition to the time and resources to develop your prototype or service into a fundable proposal, you’ll have the unprecedented opportunity to forge personal relationships, partnerships, and commercial agreements with public and private sector partners that can profoundly impact the future of your business—and indeed the future itself.
The most ambitious and successful participants will be surrounded by possibility, and the resources required to make the impossible happen. If you really want to change the world fast, we invite you to apply.
What’s in it for Dubai?
Our goals for this program are simple: drive rapid, world-class innovation results in the real world, test and scale cutting edge technologies, and establish long-term relationships with the key leaders of the future.
We take no equity from participating companies, and all intellectual property you develop here (or have developed previously) remains yours and yours alone. We only ask only that we be invited to invest alongside other partners if fundraising is part of the eventual outcome of your participation in the program.
How do I apply?
We’ve developed seven key challenges that represent transformational opportunities for the future.
To apply, submit a proposal for the one challenge you’re best equipped to address. Your presentation should include a description of your product or technology, along with a short video demonstrating how it works and how you would address the selected challenge.If selected, you and your team will be provided with round-trip airfare on Emirates Airlines and given a dedicated workspace in our brand-new facility in Emirates Towers, in the heart of New Dubai. You’ll have full access to our hardware prototyping lab, our support staff, and dozens of experts, mentors and community advisors.
You’ll also participate in a range of related activities, talks, lectures and workshops on the future of your industry and field. The program includes a number of opportunities to promote your work and develop opportunities for partnership, and we can support you in developing and structuring relationships with government entities and private sector partners. We will assist with entry visa requirements for visitors from most nations. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances, please let us know.
While in Dubai, you’ll be responsible for your lodging and meals, but we’ll support you with finding a place, getting settled, and ensuring your time here is productive and enjoyable. And if your project is chosen for implementation and you wish to extend your stay in Dubai, we’ll continue to support your needs.
Who is responsible for the Dubai Future Accelerators?
The Dubai Future Accelerators are run by a dedicated staff from the Dubai Future Foundation, an expansive new initiative of the Dubai Government led by by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Dubai Future Accelerators program is housed in a custom-designed facility in Emirates Towers, at the heart of Dubai between the Dubai International Financial Center and the Dubai World Trade Center.