Tecom’s SME Builder brought some of the UAE’s leading business and tech experts together at Dubai Media City.
The event - the 20th since Tecom started them in 2007 allows small business owners to network with experts and consultants.
Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director with event organiser Dubai Internet City, said, “A key focus for Dubai Internet City is to support the region’s entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs by offering a solid platform and access to a pool of knowledge and expertise that can enable them to grow their business.
“Our philosophy is based on fostering a diverse ecosystem conducive to ideation and the exchange of knowledge and best practices.”
The UAE has maintained its leading position as the region’s tech start-up hub for the fourth consecutive year, and is home to one-third of all Middle East and North Africa (MENA) investors and 19 venture capitalists, the highest in the region, according to the State of Digital Investment in MENA 2013-2016 report released by Dubai SME.
The report also states that tech start-up investments in 2016 hit a record $900 million in the Middle East with the UAE in the lead.
Held on 22 May at the Arjaan Rotana in Dubai Media City, TECOM SME Builder brought together over 100 professionals, from entrepreneurs and start-ups to established SMEs, Speakers included Amir Atiatalla, Strategy Manager at YVOLV, Alibaba Cloud’s joint venture in the Middle East; Julia Jackle, co-founder and CEO of Creative971; Suzanna Kalendzhian, founder of LegalAdviceME.com; and Mahdi Kilani, Head of Business Banking Division at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
The morning saw presentations on innovation funding by Martin Roussel, Managing Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), and the Dubai SME Rating Framework (RATE) by Salama Al Falasi, Principal Executive in the Strategy and Policy department at Dubai SME, a government agency focused on developing entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises in the emirate.
Tecom SME Builder also featured speed table sessions for one-to-one expert consultations and offered an opportunity for attendees to network with inspiring innovators, thought leaders and peers.