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Call for Entries, the Humanitarian Accelerators, Dubai

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    Craig Zelizer

    The Humanitarian Accelerators is a first of its kind initiative in the Arab World connecting start-ups and established companies from around the world with the UAE’s humanitarian sector to tackle social, cultural and environmental challenges in the Arab region.

    Applications for our inaugural program, starting October 1st, are now open.



    About Humanitarian Accelerators
    The first Humanitarian Accelerators program is being hosted in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation. It is taking place in parallel to the main Dubai Future Accelerators program from October 1st to November 29th.
    Our inaugural program focuses on empowering refugees through education and employment opportunities. Solutions for water sanitation in developing countries and improving Arabic digital content will be addressed in the next program taking place early 2018. Read more about the challenges here.
    Program benefits

    Benefit partnerships blue

    Game changing partnerships with leading government partners

    Benefit workspace blue

    Business development opportunities across the Middle East

    Benefit mentors blue

    Mentors and key introductions within the humanitarian sector

    Benefit travel blue

    Paid accommodation in Dubai

    Benefit zero equity blue

    Zero equity in your business

    Benefit lab blue

    Dedicated creative workspace  and access to our prototyping lab
    The application is open to start-ups and established companies from around the world that provide impactful solutions to the specified challenges.
    1. Read the challenges defined by our partner Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives
    2. Fill out the application form here.
    3. The shortlisted companies will get invited to a Skype-interview.
    19 Aug 2017 Application deadline
    30 Aug 2017 Participants selection
    Apply now
    The Humanitarian Accelerators in collaboration with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives have issued 4 challenges tackling critical humanitarian issues in the Arab region. We are looking for companies that can help solve these challenges.

    1 Education for Refugee Children

    • Empowering refugees through community integration using technology.

    2 Job Opportunities for Refugees

    • Empowering refugees through employment opportunities in their host countries using technology.

    3 Solutions for Water Sanitation

    • Developing technological solutions for water sanitation in developing countries.
    • Applying technologies that maintain access, transportation, and infrastructure of clean water to regions in need.
    *Applications for this challenge will open at the end of 2017.

    4 Arabic Digital Content

    • Increase readership in the region, amount of quality Arabic digital content, and access to publishing through use of technology.
    *Applications for this challenge will open at the end of 2017.

     How does the Humanitarian Accelerators work?

    Similar to the core Dubai Future Accelerators Program, the Humanitarian Accelerators is a unique opportunity for technology companies to gain unparalleled access to staff, resources and expertise of Dubai’s humanitarian sector, with our partner Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, as well as a host of NGOs, Development Organizations and Government Coordination Bodies in the UAE. The program will rapidly develop and deploy initiatives in line with the UAE Giving Strategy, creating breakthrough solutions that will serve as a testbed with local, regional and even global impact.

    This isn’t a traditional accelerator – we won’t teach you how to write a business plan or build an MVP, what we will accelerate is the relationship between companies and government. Instead of taking months to access relevant stakeholders, expect to develop a positive relationship with the government of Dubai in days.

    The aim of the program is to provide a dynamic environment where companies, NGOs, Development Organizations and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives can explore new opportunities to deliver transformative technologies and services, culminating in companies receiving an MOU (or other commercial agreement) to deliver a funded pilot project after the program ends.


    2 What sort of companies should participate?


    Building a social impact business requires almost exactly the same process, strategic thinking and planning for a for profit businesses. In this case we’re optimizing for two outputs- impact and financial sustainability, and not just profit. You can be a for profit, or a non profit organization, but must be able to demonstrate a social model within your business. Although technology remains a core tenant in our selection, the business model is just as important as technical expertise.

    While we consider applicants on a case-by-case basis, companies should have already built and launched their core technology, and be able to demonstrate traction and/or substantial use cases. Experience in the region, and within the challenge sector, is also preferred.


    3 Who is not eligible?


    Volunteer organizations, social groups and services or any initiatives that do not include technology. While we encourage companies to approach the program with an open mind, we are not ideally open to startups that are still at the ideation stage. While DFA offers an exciting and unrivaled opportunity, it’s important that a company has the resource to commit to the program, without it being a concern for founders or investors.


    4 What will DFA provide?


    Core program tenant include engagement with key government entities and other leading figures in the humanitarian and social impact sector, mentorship, business development, sessions and activities on entrepreneurship and on the region’s social impact and humanitarian sector. Program structure and key benefits remain identical to the main DFA program with the exception of flights and visas, which will not be provided by DFA. Accommodation for participants will be provided for.


    5 Does DFA take equity in companies participating in the Humanitarian Accelerators?


    Like the core DFA program, we don’t receive or expect any equity in return for your company’s participation.


    6. When is the inaugural Humanitarian Accelerators program taking place?


    The program is taking place from October 1st to November 29th in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Applications close on August 19th.

    For more details and info on how to apply click here
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