Microsoft joins hands with Innovation 360 to support UAE tech startups


Microsoft Gulf and Innovation 360 have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will effectively enable tech startups, innovators and the developer community in UAE to grow their skills and build businesses using Microsoft technologies.

Under the MOU, Microsoft will enroll Innovation 360, a Dubai-based consultancy that runs its own incubator, as a Microsoft BizSpark Network partner, providing all tech startups and innovators under its network with free and express access to valuable technology-based benefits that will help accelerate their venture.

Other benefits will include global visibility of Innovation 360 as a BizSpark Network Partner on the Microsoft BizSpark website, which will also provide an opportunity to attract high-potential technology startups and help increase inbound flow of new members to its network.

Samer Abu-Ltaif, General Manager, Microsoft Gulf said “Microsoft sees boundless potential for tech startups in UAE and we view the collaborative efforts with innovation hubs and incubators across the region as a strategic and crucial stride for us to extend our support to their ecosystems. Through our collaboration with Innovation 360, we are deeply committed to helping accelerate innovation through Microsoft BizSpark, and we hope these efforts will help us reach more people who are looking to turn their great ideas into reality that can empower their communities and country at large.”

BizSpark is a global program that helps startups grow into successful businesses through software support and a vibrant ecosystem that delivers exceptional business advantage.

Kamal Hassan, founder and President of Innovation 360, said “Our aim is to provide young innovators in UAE a platform that will allow them to transform their ideas into market- and investor-ready ventures. This partnership with Microsoft will help to broaden the resources and support provided through our initiatives by connecting start-ups to Microsoft’s worldwide network of technologies and provide access to resources, experts and facilities for collaboration and skills development.”

As part of the MOU, Microsoft will conduct orientation workshops that cover BizSpark and Azure for every new round of start-ups joining Innovation 360’s incubator. Also, Microsoft technology experts will regularly visit the Innovation 360 premises to provide technical support.

The two organizations will share information and knowledge that is crucial in nurturing tech startups in UAE through various collaborations that will include Microsoft technical experts speaking at Innovation 360 developer events.

In the same light, Microsoft will help promote events held at Innovation 360 on Microsoft Developer social media and newsletters, and will also conduct case study production for selected tech startups.

With SMEs constituting 94 percent of all companies in UAE, Microsoft, through its wide network of technologies, is determined to support their growth as they are an essential engine for the economy. Microsoft BizSpark currently has over 2,000 active members in the MEA region. More than 50,000 companies have benefitted from BizSpark in more than 100 countries around the world since its inception in 2008.

About Microsoft Bizspark

Microsoft BizSpark was established in 2008 and provides free Microsoft products for software design and development tools to qualifying software development business startups for 3 years to enhance their visibility. To qualify for BizSpark, a start-up has to be in the business of developing a new software and should be less than 5 years old. More information on the eligibility of companies is available on www.bizspark.com

About Microsoft Gulf

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:'MSFT') is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Gulf opened its Dubai-based headquarters in 1991. Microsoft Gulf today oversees Microsoft activities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Yemen. Microsoft Corporation's address on the World Wide Web is: www.microsoft.com Microsoft Middle East's Web site is www.microsoft.com/middle east


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