DIFC Innovation Hub, home to financial technology accelerators in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, concluded its annual flagship Investor Day. Over 500 people attended the event, including key figures from the investor community and finalists of the ninth edition of the FinTech Accelerator Programme and the seventh edition of AccelerateHer.
HE Essa Kazim, governor, DIFC, and Arif Amiri, chief executive officer, DIFC Authority attended the event. Both actively engaged with speakers, investors and entrepreneurs.
Delivering the opening keynote, Mohammad AlBlooshi, chief executive officer, DIFC Innovation Hub, said: “The FinTech Accelerator Programme has a phenomenal track record of empowering start-ups by helping them to transform their ideas into products and offerings unique to the financial market.
“The solutions showcased this year are some of the best we have seen within the industry and we congratulate these pioneers on successfully completing their programmes. We have numerous success stories to share. Namely, over 200 start-ups graduating from our programme have collectively raised over $600million in funding.
“In 2023, the programme also saw a record-breaking number of participants with over 700 applicants for a single cohort. Of these, 19 start-ups graduated. We wish them every success as they continue to innovate and push boundaries.”
The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Future of Investment: Tech Investment Trends in the Region’. It included industry thought leaders such as
- Sharif Elbadawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund
- Khaled Talhouni, managing partner of Nuwa Capital
- Khaled Lababidi, operating partner at Arbor Ventures
Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder Crypto Oasis moderated the keynote.
The event served as a ‘graduation day’ for 19 start-ups from the FinTech Accelerator Programme – with a record-breaking 20+ proof-of-concepts created. Furthermore, 10 women financial services professionals from AccelerateHer showcased their business plans and enhanced skillset. Especially having been mentored by some of the region’s leading banks and insurance companies.
This year, AccelerateHer participants received endorsement and mentorship from Dubai Islamic Bank, whereas the FinTech Accelerator Programme was supported by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), Emirates NBD, Emirates Post Group (EPG), HSBC, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Visa and Zurich.
DIFC is home to over 800 fintech and innovation companies who are unlocking the future of finance. Start-ups including, Norbloc, Sarwa, Tarabut gateway and Zywa have graduated from accelerator programmes by the DIFC Innovation Hub.