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SANDBOX launched for early-stage startups

Region’s first such program gets more than 600 applications from startups and entrepreneurs within four months


Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, announced the commencement of SANDBOX, the region’s first startup program to support early-stage technology startups to scale and raise funds. Launched at GITEX Future Stars in October 2021, the program has received more than 600 applications from startups and entrepreneurs within four months of its launch.

Twelve applicants, all operating in tech-focused fields, have been accepted to join the 12-month program run by the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), DSO’s tech hub and coworking space, and the largest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Nearly 95% of the companies operating in Dubai are SMEs, and they employ 42% of the workforce in the private sector. However, there is a gap in funding for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. This program addresses that requirement and supports startups, especially those developing promising tech-driven innovations.

SANDBOX is built on six key pillars – product development, traction, scaling, financial diagnostics, legal support, and wellness. With the backing of Dtec Ventures, SANDBOX builds on the existing community of emerging entrepreneurs in Dtec. Recognizing the significance of supporting startups in their early stages, Dtec is offering SANDBOX participants exclusive company setup rates as well as access to leading venture capital funds, and broad services provided by Dtec’s partners.