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DIFC Marks Next Step in MEA Metaverse Development with DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme

Following the launch of the DIFC Metaverse Platform earlier this year, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the global financial centre in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) has announced the participants in the inaugural ‘DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme’ (‘the Programme’).

This is the first time the Programme is being run and will consist of 10 regional and global startups. The Programme is aligned with the Dubai Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy Goals. This is the DIFC’s next step in achieving the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to add $4billion to Dubai’s GDP. Furthermore, it aims to support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, and attract 1,000 companies specialised in blockchain and metaverse technologies.

The Programme was launched under the DIFC Metaverse Platform umbrella. It attracted over 160 applicants from the UAE, UK, US, India and France. All of which had a focus on either the metaverse, AI, web3, AR/VR or  blockchain sectors.

Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of the DIFC Innovation Hub, said: “Earlier this year, Dubai’s Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy endorsed the DIFC Metaverse Platform. It positioned DIFC as the first government entity globally to champion an integrated metaverse hub.

“To see the DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme come to fruition as part of that initiative with over 160 international applicants and a network of over 60 ecosystem partners is encouraging. Not to mention the 10 talented start-ups graduating. They will no doubt inspire others to join us as we together embark on our next phase of growth.”

Programme partners were Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), DP World, and Daoverse Capital. Together, they helped onboard 10 promising start-ups in June 2023. From there, the startups faced three months of training at intense bootcamp workshops. The DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme is also supported by a network of over 60 DIFC Innovation Hub ecosystem partners

Furthermore, it aims to stimulate investment opportunities by building a creator community equipped with technical and intrapersonal skills of the metaverse.

The first cohort of graduates

The graduation of the first cohort was held as part of the programme’s Demo Day at the DIFC Innovation Hub, which saw talented entrepreneurs pitch and showcase the next wave of innovation to the region’s top venture capitalists, angel investors and industry leaders.

The first cohort of graduates include:

  • Artichoke Labs, a spatial computing company specialising in creating city-scale augmented reality applications
  • Cognitive Technologies, experts in establishing internet-of-things (IoT) networks to enable both hardware and software automation
  • Daoversal, an expansive blockchain-based Web3 social ecosystem platform
  • DoDocs, which is building a service to generate legal documents in any language for any country or jurisdiction for both individuals and businesses
  • Duverse, a start-up involved in developing and implementing advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions
  • Evometa, a boutique digital studio providing metaverse-as-a-service solutions for enterprises in real estate, hospitality, industrial and automotive markets
  • Flan, engaged in creating micro-communities for clients and creative workers to meet, network, and discuss ideas
  • Intelligent Assist, the digital healthcare delivery platform
  • ShopDoc, the digital healthcare delivery platform
  • GoPal, a metaverse-based edtech platform

The DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme is targeting a broad spectrum of metaverse, web3, AI, and AR/VR start-ups both locally and internationally, as well as potential Web3 investors and organisations.

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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