Majid Al Futtaim launches accelerator programme to help regional start-ups

Regional shopping centre developer and operator Majid Al Futtaim has introduced its accelerator programme, Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad, to start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa.

Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad seeks to expedite and boost the growth plans and strengthen the commercial viability of such companies and encourage economic development.

“Our new Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad programme aims to facilitate state-of-the-art solutions and services while inspiring, nurturing and growing the start-up and SME ecosystem that exists today,” said Joe Abi Akl, chief corporate development officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.

Participating enterprises can benefit from business growth incentives, mentorship programmes and an ecosystem encouraging and supporting innovation.

“The new programme brings a host of significant benefits for consumers, employees, business owners, investors and governments across the region, acutely representing our role in supporting and building an open, efficient, effective and globally integrated business environment,” said Mr Abi Akl.

The launch aligns with Majid Al Futtaim’s efforts to support the region’s economy as a private sector corporation.

“As a partner of choice for pioneering initiatives and investments in the region, our long-term ambition is to foster entrepreneurship and knowledge sharing to accelerate economic growth throughout the region,” Mr Abi Akl added.

The programme is a collaboration with AstroLabs, Dubai-based technology ecosystem builder that partners with large organisations to offer employees courses to improve digital capabilities.

Companies can create new revenue streams by capitalising on Majid Al Futtaim’s retail spaces and online channels.

The programme also offers marketing support for participants to access a wider consumer base for customer acquisition.

Majid Al Futtaim aims to help homegrown brands strengthen the culture and heritage, sustainability and innovation elements of their business activities.

Health and beauty start-up brands will be supported in the innovative creation of products and implementation of technology solutions to optimise customer experience.

The programme will help property technology companies offer innovative and sustainable solutions to maximise efficiency of construction and improve retail experiences in shopping centres.

Participants will learn how to improve efficiencies of their operations through cutting costs on fees and upfront payments and integrating with Majid Al Futtaim’s business ecosystems of experts and business advisors.

“Established organisations like Majid Al Futtaim can leverage market access and recognise the need to integrate start-ups into their value chain to stay ahead of disruption,” said Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs.

“At the other end of the spectrum, small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups have a solid grip on digitalisation, but find it difficult to infiltrate and grow in their industry.

“These are two worlds that have cultural and technological differences and organic access between them is still difficult.

“We have been at the heart of MENA’s technology ecosystem since 2013, connecting these stakeholders to improve the odds of success of such partnerships, maximise the outcomes and provide a gateway to tangible growth opportunities on both fronts.”

Start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises can apply to participate in Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad before July 5.