Dubai Future Foundation CEO, Khalfan Juma Belhoul, said on 17 April that the UAE government will award long-term visas to the 10 technology startups selected in the second batch of the Techstars Dubai accelerator programme.

The announcement was made during a ‘demo day’, where the startups showcased their products and stories, and pitched to potential investors.

The visas will allow the companies to stay back longer in the country to pursue ventures and partnerships.

Supporting innovation

The startups are the second batch of cohorts in the Techstars Dubai programme held in partnership with Ginco Investments.

During the 13-week accelerator programme, the companies were based in Area 2071, a government and private sector experimentation space located in Emirates Towers that was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The 10 companies worked closely with more than 90 mentors from the Dubai’s ecosystem and beyond. Collectively, they have raised funds amounting to $13.8m over the course of the programme.

Operational benefits

Managing partner at the Jordan-based Nestrom, Kanaan Manasrah, said that while their engineering team will continue to reside in Amman, the long-term visa will now allow them to shift operations to Dubai, opening up a wider market. Nestrom is a cloud-based platform that allows data capturing from field operations and has worked with organisations such as Al-Shaya Group and Astra Farms.

The announcement follows a similar one made at the World Economic Forum 2019, where the UAE government granted long-term visas to the top 100 Arab startups shaping the fourth industrial revolution. Twenty-one of the 100 companies came from the UAE.

The 10 startups selected in the second batch of Techstars Dubai programme are:
  • Buglance – a crowd testing company that connects software testers with software development companies all over the world.
  • Clara – a software as a service (SaaS) platform that digitises and automates startup legal expertise.
  • Element 16 – which improves energy efficiency at industrial processing facilities with heat storage technology.
  • LuggAgent – a ‘global concierge’ that offers the luxury of time and freedom. It started with the goal of eliminating the burden of luggage hassles.
  • Nestrom – a cloud-based platform that enables data capture and actioning from field operations.
  • Ottogee – which provides Internet of Things (IoT) wearables for industrial applications in construction, oil and gas, security and manufacturing.
  • Three Wheels United – a technology enabled lender poised to become India’s leading financier for sustainable, productive assets, unlocking a global lending opportunity worth $225bn.
  • Veeplay – which empowers media companies and video content owners take control over their video strategy by helping them stream, secure and monetise their inventory.
  • Vivoo – a wellness app that provides personalised nutrition and lifestyle advice to users based on their weekly home urine tests.
  • Yacob – a SaaS point of sale platform that enables food tracking and online payments in closed food ecosystems.