Home » Majid Al Futtaim Announces Second Edition of its Launchpad Programme in Partnership with AstroLabs, Microsoft and DIFC Launchpad

Majid Al Futtaim Announces Second Edition of its Launchpad Programme in Partnership with AstroLabs, Microsoft and DIFC Launchpad

by Mohammad Ghazal

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, today launched the second edition of its Launchpad programme – part of Xsight Future Solutions business, Majid Al Futtaim’s newly formed business aimed at accelerating the company’s digital offerings and empowering partners with scalable, end-to-end digital services, products, and solutions. Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad strives to unlock value by partnering with and investing in innovative startups and disruptors that can benefit from the reach of the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem. 

For the programme’s second edition, Majid Al Futtaim has partnered with DIFC Launchpad, an initiative by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, which aims to promote the growth of start-ups in the region. For this edition of the accelerator programme, DIFC Launchpad will support in scaling Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad by curating a global network of start-ups to bring into the programme. DIFC Launchpad will provide winners with one-to-one mentorship opportunities on fundraising and corporate partnerships, facilitate introductions to VC’s, in addition to providing access to its diverse talent base, distribution partners, and co-working spaces.

Aiming to support the growth of early-stage startups while driving economic growth in the region, Majid Al Futtaim has also extended its partnership with AstroLabs and Microsoft for this edition to offer successful participants access to innovative technology products, mentorship, training, and go-to-market opportunities.

Joe Abi Akl, Chief Corporate Development Officer and Managing Director of Xsight Future Solutions at Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said: “We developed Xsight Future Solutions to drive innovation and end-to-end digital transformation across the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem. This is in line with our strategic priority to deliver a seamless and integrated customer experience.”

“The success of the first edition of the Launchpad programme demonstrated the incredible potential of startups in this region, and we look forward to working with another group of entrepreneurs, helping them advance their innovations and welcoming them into the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem through the Launchpad programme. We are thrilled to have AstroLabs and Microsoft back as partners and proud to welcome DIFC Launchpad on board for this edition to ensure that successful applicants receive the right training, mentorship and support to thrive.”

The Launchpad programme targets innovative startups across Homegrown Brands focusing on fashion and lifestyle, leisure and experiences, community centric initiatives, and fashion technology startups. Successful applicants in the Homegrown Brands category will be offered subsidised access to tangible growth opportunities, such as accelerating customer acquisition, improving operational efficiencies, and access to new revenue streams. Additionally, this edition of the programme will welcome Climate Tech startups, offering digital twin and IOT solutions, sustainability solutions, and innovative approaches to waste management. Winners will have the opportunity to introduce their innovative solutions within Majid Al Futtaim’s portfolio through fully funded pilot programmes.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “In line with our commitment to provide a thriving ecosystem for Innovation and FinTech firms in Dubai and our vision to drive the future of finance, DIFC is pleased to partner with Majid Al Futtaim to support with curating a global network of start-ups for the  Launchpad programme. The DIFC Launchpad platform  aims to attract the best minds from entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world to Dubai, offering the necessary support to develop, test and accelerate  start-ups, scale-ups and corporate ventures. We are delighted to provide winners of the programme with one-to-one mentorship opportunities on fundraising and corporate partnerships, facilitate introductions to VC’s, in addition to providing access to our diverse talent base, distribution partners, and co-working spaces.”

Roland Daher, CEO, of AstroLabs, said: “Today, startups and SMEs in the region are competing internationally, showcasing excellence and ambition at the highest level. Our mission as ecosystem enablers has allowed us to directly contribute to the empowerment of MENA’s entrepreneurial community through initiatives like the Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad accelerator. With this edition, we hope to build upon the success of our previous cohort and facilitate the integration of a new generation of high-impact disruptors into Majid Al Futtaim. We are looking forward to all the opportunities awaiting this new wave of highly motivated entrepreneurs.’’

Lance Thorp, Retail Industry Advisor at Microsoft Middle East, said: “Following the tremendous success of the first edition, we are excited to continue our journey with Majid Al Futtaim and DIFC Launchpad to support the second edition of thisprogramme, which will foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Microsoft is committed to empowering start-ups with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to succeed in the digital economy. We believe that cloud technology can enable new solutions for homegrown brands and climate tech, and we look forward to seeing the impact of the programme’s participants.”

The inaugural edition of the programme saw 14 winners including The Bath Land, The Hair Addict, The Zola Collective, Wallace & Co, Sigma-Fit, Opio, Reform Studio, Little Sol+, Kiliim, Thaely, Boksha, Stake, enVerid Systems and Disrupt-X. Winners are currently in the process of being integrated within the wider Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem. The startups also received significant benefits including mentorship, training, and technology products from AstroLabs and Microsoft.

Applications for the second edition are now open. SME’s and startups can apply to the program here:

The deadline for applications is June 15, 2023.

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