The Dubai Future Accelerators, part of a larger program called the Dubai Future Agenda and hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation in partnership with the seven founding entities of the Dubai Government, was recently launched by the Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive public-private sector program that pairs top companies and cutting-edge entrepreneurs with leading government departments to co-create breakthrough solutions for the public good. The program, which begins September 18th, received an unprecedented number of submissions. Over 2,000 companies from 73 countries, on all 7 continents, applied to be a part of the inaugural program. Only 1% of the applicants were accepted.
Jon Bradford, one of the most experienced early stage investors in Europe, has been announced as executive advisor of the Dubai Future Accelerators. Jon launched the first accelerator bootcamp outside of the US in 2009 that subsequently was merged with Techstars to become Techstars’ first international programme. He also helped launch a further nine accelerators from Montreal to Moscow earning him the title “Godfather of European Accelerators”. Jon is also the cofounder of F6S, the world’s largest social network for entrepreneurs with over 1.5MM users and the cofounder of Tech.eu, Europe’s premier tech news site. Finally, Jon was recently appointed as the Director of the John Bradford Centre based in Cambridge.
"The UAE government has invited the world to help transform the future and I have the privilege of being part of this massively ambitious initiative”, said Jon Bradford, who also pointed out that today's global challenges are the byproduct of mainstream economic growth models; and that the Dubai Future Accelerators program is a front runner for change and innovation, and 21st century new technologies.
Paul Smith is the former CEO and co-founder of Ignite, one of Europe's leading accelerator programs. Paul managed a dozen programs and coached over 200 entrepreneurs, as well as co-founding Campus North, a 15,000 sq ft co-working space voted Best Workplace in Britain 2016. More recently, Paul was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Techstars. Paul emphasized that, "For startups and scale-ups, I don't think there's an opportunity like this anywhere else in the world right now. The scale of both the ambition and enthusiasm for supporting the development of transformational technologies has taken me by surprise; Dubai genuinely has the potential to benefit the world."