DIFC Innovation Hub concludes Investor Day

DIFC Innovation Hub, home to the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, concluded its annual flagship Investor Day, with over 500 people attending the event, including key figures from the investor community and finalists of the ninth edition of the FinTech Accelerator Programme and the seventh edition of AccelerateHer.

The event was attended by HE Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC, and Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, who actively engaged with speakers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Delivering the opening keynote, Mohammad AlBlooshi, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Innovation Hub, said: “The FinTech Accelerator Programme has a phenomenal track record of empowering start-ups by helping them to transform their ideas into products and offerings unique to the financial market. The solutions showcased this year are some of the best we have seen within the industry and we congratulate these pioneers on successfully completing their programmes. We have numerous success stories to share, with over 200 start-ups graduating from our programme that have collectively raised over USD 600mn in funding. In 2023, the programme also saw a record-breaking number of participants with over 700 applicants for a single cohort, out of which 19 start-ups graduated. We wish them every success as they continue to innovate and push boundaries.”

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Future of Investment: Tech Investment Trends in the Region’ including industry thought leaders such as Sharif Elbadawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, Khaled Talhouni, Managing Partner of Nuwa Capital, Khaled Lababidi, Operating Partner at Arbor Ventures, moderated by Saqr Ereiqat, Co-founder Crypto Oasis.

The event served as a ‘graduation day’ for 19 start-ups from the FinTech Accelerator Programme – with a record-breaking 20+ proof-of-concepts created – and 10 women financial services professionals from AccelerateHer who showcased their business plans and enhanced skillset, having been mentored by some of the region’s leading banks and insurance companies.

This year, AccelerateHer participants received endorsement and mentorship from Dubai Islamic Bank, whereas the FinTech Accelerator Programme was supported by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), Emirates NBD, Emirates Post Group (EPG), HSBC, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Visa and Zurich.

DIFC is home to over 800 FinTech and Innovation companies who are unlocking the future of finance. Innovative start-ups including, Norbloc, Sarwa, Tarabut gateway and Zywa have graduated from accelerator programmes by the DIFC Innovation Hub.

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 8 trillion.

With a close to 20-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai. 

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of over 39,000 professionals working across over 4,900 active registered companies making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region. 

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.  

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.