Microsoft and Dubai-based BECO Capital today announced a strategic partnership to support early-stage tech startups.
BECO is a regional Venture Capital firm focused on technology investments in MENA. It provides early-stage growth capital and hands-on operational support for technology companies in the MENA region.
Under the new agreement, Microsoft becomes BECO's exclusive technology partner. The partnership will centre on support for early-stage technology companies across Middle East and North Africa territories, giving those companies exposure to a targeted and curated audience of investors - as well as prominence among the larger ecosystem - throughout fiscal year 2019.
"Microsoft's credentials as a start-up mentor are well established," said Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. "In the MENA region, where we have a strong track record of contributing to GDP growth, we back innovators who have something new to offer in areas such as AI and the Internet of Things - technologies that better enable digital transformation, the power to engage customers empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products and services.
"The level of positive response that we have seen from VCs and start-ups has significantly surpassed our expectations. BECO's vision for the MENA technology sector is aligned with our own. Start-ups here have demonstrated a level of innovation that rivals that of their global peers, and we are very excited about the prospects and their impact to the economy in the coming decades."
The strategic partnership between BECO and Microsoft will continue throughout 2018 and 2019, and will extend to BECO's community events. These include the fourth edition of its annual signature conference, BOOSTMENA, which will bring together 150 founders and 250 investors in Dubai, on 14 and 15 November, for two days of learning, innovation, collaboration and networking.
BOOSTMENA 2018 will be split into two days: BOOSTMENA Founders Day and BOOSTMENA Investors Day. The hottest areas in technology will be on the agenda, including transport, robotics, and augmented reality, and some of the world's leading authorities on technology and business funding will be in attendance, many giving keynotes and presentations on issues from VC to the future of bitcoin.
"We are delighted to welcome Microsoft as our exclusive technology partner," said Dany Farha, CEO and Managing Partner of BECO Capital, and co-founder of Bayt.com, the Middle East's largest digital recruitment platform. "They will now enjoy year-round access to a curated audience of investors and founders and an opportunity to share mentorship with us on some of the brightest prospects the region has to offer in the fields of AI, blockchain, Internet of Things and many more. The MENA region is in vigorous innovation mode, as non-IT companies scramble and search for solutions that will allow them to do more with less. The potential to add value quickly and establish yourself strongly is what BECO helps start-ups accomplish."