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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), one of the leading financial hubs for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has launched a venture studio platform exclusively focused on ubiquitous finance and digital asset technologies.
Studio Launchpad, billed as the first such venture studio in the world, aims to build upon DIFC’s endeavors to enable collaboration between venture studios, corporations, entrepreneurs, investors and academic partners. Housed at a brand new 15,000 sq. ft. facility, it has been designed to streamline the company-formation process and fast-track the development of new companies that could potentially support DIFC’s quickly developing finance and digital asset ecosystem that falls under the realm of ubiquitous finance.
“Launching the first global venture studio is a core pillar of our vision to put DIFC at the center of the digital transformation of the financial sector in the UAE and globally, reflecting the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” said H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC. “We see great potential to leverage the venture studio model to accelerate creation of scale-ups and unicorns from Dubai that will contribute over-proportionally to new job creation and economic development. DIFC is building an ecosystem from the ground-up that will support studios and founders with everything they need to be successful, and reimagine virtually every aspect of the financial services value chain to help realise Dubai’s ambitions for the digital era.”
H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC. Source: DIFC
Both the ubiquitous finance ecosystem and Studio Launchpad were developed in partnership with Dubai-based venture studio Enhance Ventures and Silicon Valley-based innovation advisory group Silicon Foundry. Among Studio Launchpad’s many offerings is a research living lab that is intended to foster thought leadership and hands-on research with the aim to produce data and insights that can shape existing and future business models, laws, and regulations.
Recent studies published by the Global Startup Studio Network show that ventures launching from studios experience 30% higher company success rates, with about 5% achieving unicorn status. The launching of Studio Launchpad comes on the back end of this existing trend as well as the DIFC’s efforts to achieve its Strategy 2030 goals that aim to attract the best minds and companies from across the world to Dubai by providing them with necessary support to develop, test and launch new startups, scale-ups, and corporate ventures.
Over the next five years, over 20 more venture studios are expected to be set up in the DIFC. It is a move that aims to launch more than 200 new ventures, create over 8,000 innovation jobs in Dubai, and attract over AED2 billion in venture capital.