Nurturing Innovation

Jun 01, 2018
The region's frst free business incubator launches

A collective of UAE entrepreneurs has launched, a free incubation initiative that gives back to the community by helping entrepreneurs fast-track new ideas into business success. The platform supports the UAE’s startup ecosystem by making it easier for people to tap into expertise, capital and mentorship to launch their own ventures.

The founding team of StartUpSchool. me includes fashion designer and entrepreneur Her Excellency Sara AlMadani; entrepreneur and CEO/co-founder of Omar Chihane, Paz Marketing founder and CEO Zeina Akkawi; speaker, author and thinker Omar Al Busaidi; MENA Speakers founder Saana Azzam; and the CFO and co-founder of Binghatti Holdings Ahmed Binghatti.

“Given the UAE’s emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurial culture and the importance of SMEs to the nation’s economy, wants to help boost the creation of successful new businesses. The idea is to create a free yet powerful platform where entrepreneurs, or anyone with a good idea, can tap the expertise and connections of industry leaders with proven track records. We believe that doing good is good for business and are keen to give back to the community that’s given so much to us,” said Omar Chihane, Co-Founder and Mentor at

The incubator and mentorship platform operates a three-step model of Selection, Incubation and Exposure.

For selection, aspiring UAE-based entrepreneurs must submit their business idea to for initial screening. The ones with successful ideas get to participate in a two-day hackathon where they will receive on-site coaching pending a fnal presentation, and then the three winning ideas will be selected to enter the incubation phase which is expected to last between three to six months.

During the Incubation phase, mentors will help refne strategy, help move the idea along to execution, and deliver workspaces and legal framework for entrepreneurs to operate.

Finally, the Exposure phase amplifes the new business by creating brand awareness across social and media channels and conducting outreach towards investors, partners and suppliers. will formally launch its frst pitching round on this month - 21 and 22 June - at the Youth Hub.
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