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7 New Start-up Hubs Every Arab Entrepreneur Should Know

Slowly but surely, the start-up movement is shaping a new entrepreneurial economy in the Middle East with an ecosystem of its own. Here are the latest tech hubs, business incubators and start-up accelerators propelling innovators to the top of their game.

1. Turn 8 is a program powered by i360accelerator, a UAE-based “rapid fire” incubator that turns ideas into investor grade prototypes by injecting entrepreneurial know-how. The program held its first demo day in mid-January.

2. The GrEEK campus: This Egyptian tech hub blossomed at Cairo’s Rise Up Summit last November, aiming to establish a mini-Silicon Valley in central Cairo. It offers space to start-ups, accelerators, investors, and multinationals alike.

3. Fast Forward: Palestine’s first start-up accelerator not only offers seed funding for business ideas, but also boasts a network of mentors, coaches and co-working spaces. The hub just announced its second class of start-ups this January.

4. Emerge ventures: Focused on tech start-ups at their early stage, this VC helps companies scale by becoming “true partners with the entrepreneurs”.

5. BDL C331 Fund: At over $400 million, this Lebanese fund is the largest of its kind in the Arab World. Launched by the Central Bank of Lebanon, it seeks the perfect match between start-ups and investors.

6. Arabreneur: The Palestinian platform connects entrepreneurs with Angel investors and mentors while offering Soft-landing services to support start-ups from inception through growth. Last January, it announced an investment of $440,000 in four Palestinian start-ups.

7. Innoventures: “Not just another incubator”, their key is innovation. Early start-ups focused on clean tech, ICT, electronics, media, market intelligence and inclusive business can get a six-month incubation program or join the “Start-up Circus“.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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