July 4, 2017

2016 Report

About: Middle East Startup Ecosystem:

Is the digital accelerator flagship program for the Middle East region under the global subsidiary- Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE). The network hosts the largest online 3-day digital accelerator program for entrepreneurs residing in or affiliated with the Middle East. The network also provides regional tech summits, ecosystem programs, boot camps, tours, and initiatives to accelerate innovation and connect local ecosystem stakeholders with international influencers under GSE sponsorship.

Press Release Announcement:

In an effort to increase exposure of Middle East startups to global investors and resources, Mena Startup Ecosystem announced the launch of the first digital accelerator for the region. The accelerator program begins with a full startup development boot camp covering ideation, product development, marketing, customer acquisition, and funding. The boot camp is followed by workshop keynotes from Lean Launchpad, Forbes list entrepreneurs, and key investors. The program concludes with a demo day where the top ten companies pitch in front of judges from across the region for top prizes.

“The future is digital, so startup ecosystems in emerging markets need to take advantage of that with programs like this one” says Christine Souffrant Ntim, “we launched digital accelerators for entrepreneurs of the Middle East and the diaspora to close the resource gap and diversify global startup success stories”.

The pilot accelerator program will launch on December 17-18, 2016 and will accept 100 startups.

Guest Judges: 

  • Alia Badr El-Din (Strategy Lead, IBM Digital Business Group – Middle East & Africa)
  • Kristi DePaul (Contributor, Inc Arabia)
  • Tiffany Obser (Seed Stars Middle East)

Current prizes include:

  • SendGrid Package: $1,560 worth of credits with SendGrid ($129.95 / month for 12 months)
  • VIP tickets to Haiti Tech Summit- the largest conference in the Caribbean with 1000+ attendees and 100+ investors (valued at $995 each).

2016 Middle East Startup Ecosystem Links

Middle East Startup Ecosystem

Accelerator Pilot Report

The Applicant Pool: Over 75% of the companies were founded within the past two years. Industries represented included,  e-commerce, education, social apps, transportation, communications, and travel. Amazingly- the majority of the applicant pool had traction in terms of users, revenue, and product development. Which leads us to believe that startup founders are leveraging resources and mentorship in the region.

In seeing the great resources provided within the region, Middle East Startups surveyed the applicant pool to determine the top needs and interests pertaining to startup development. As expected funding and customer acquisition was the most requested topic for mentorship. Since we customize programming based on applicant needs, we provided a multiplicity of speakers, content, and resources around those two topics.

Day 1 Review: Day one of the accelerator was 8+ hours of jam packed content.Christine Souffrant Ntim kicked it off with a 2-hour business boot camp covering all stages of startup development.

  • Part 1: Business Boot Camp 
    10am: Orientation
    10:15-10:30: How to Launch a Company in 24 hours
    10:30-10:45: How to Ideate, Beta Test, & Pitch
    10:45-11:00: How to Build an MVP in 30 Days
    11:00-11:15: How to Market Your Product in 30 Days (Customer Acquisition-Growth Hacking)
    11:15-11:30: How to Raise $250k in free prizes, grants and partnerships

The intense nature of the business boot camp is to provide tactics, strategies and top learnings around building a company while leveraging free resources. From Y-Combinator’s free 10 week online program to raising millions with database searches to coding an MVP – the program covered many areas. The boot camp was then followed by 3 hours of speaker panels from entrepreneurs, VC and influencers who can inspire our cohort with their stories of success and failures. 

Videos from panel 1 (startup ecosystem)panel 2 (women disrupting the norm) and panel 3 (VC, Acquisitions & Fundraising) are available on our Facebook page. The program ended with 100 founders attending the live event in Dubai and 100 applicants viewing the digital program from Facebook and Online Meeting.

Day 2 Review: With a night of rest, the program continued with an intense 3-hour finale of keynotes, pitches, and reflections. We kicked off the program with a brief workshop on fundraising and pitching. Our two keynote speakers presented great content with Mohamed presenting top lessons for entrepreneurs and Veronica presenting top insights of the MENA startup ecosystem.

The keynote series was then followed up with a 1-hour pitch demo of the top 10 companies selected from the program. Each company had 1 minute to pitch their company with slide show presentations and receive q/a from our guest judges (representing IBM, Seed Stars and Inc Arabia).


Middle East Startup Ecosystem

Cohort 1: Top 100 (270 entrepreneurs)

  • www.Dubaisupernova.com
  • Www.clockoff.com
  • www.schoolpeer.com
  • www.communitytracks.org
  • Dubai school guide for parents
  • www,kroble.com
  • www.fortheproduct.com
  • www.oneclickdrive.com
  • /www.hazzir.com
  • www.algorithm-research.com
  • www.fikramarketing.com
  • www.richiepresto.com
  • www.helpieapp.com
  • www.tazaapp.com
  • www.momentumapp.me
  • www.gorgeousforever.com
  • www.gorgeousforever.ae
  • www.KanaryGifts.com
  • www.emitechgroup.com
  • www.sporteluxe.com/uae
  • https://twitter.com/MaqadiCom
  • www.directiondose.com
  • www.theajalaproject.com
  • www.hopohomes.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/intheloopdubai
  • http://www.nfc.ae
  • www.mpeglobal.net
  • www.facebook.com/G%C4%97li%C5%B3-siena-Lietuvoje-783996328327279/
  • www.buperiod.com
  • www.champs.ae
  • www.dmassociates.ae


  • www.charg.ly
  • www.hult.edu
  • www.mimv.co
  • www.maidme.ae
  • www.thepartyup.com
  • www.scoutmycar.com
  • www.UniversalLinguistics.com
  • www.junkbot.co
  • www.goONE.co
  • www.guestmetriks.com
  • www.biker.ae/
  • www.yallaparking.com
  • www.Fish.me
  • www.bbrisq.com
  • www.rigbasket.com
  • www.unveyl.com
  • www.Hamza.a
  • https://ejarcar.com
  • www.facebook.com/haitihandson (official website currently under re-design)
  • www.shoppingo.ae
  • www.TravelOnlineAdvisor.com
  • www.reportcard.ae
  • www.sharethisspace.ae
  • http://www.newshifts.com
  • www.reademption.com
  • www.deliver2mum.com
  • www.wunba.com
  • www.ehsemiratesfoundation.com
  • Www.quts.net
  • www.Savvyous.com
  • www.money-nanny.com
  • Www.bejobsmart.com
  • Www.bidtoget.com
  • www.miltonshepherd.com
  • Expeditors
  • https://thepartyup.com/ae
  • www.Lilyjo-stores.com


  • www.Tamarran.com
  • www.getperksplus.com
  •  www.ottaaproject.com
  • www.pricejugaad.ae
  • Www.squ.edu.om
  • Www.Digalistic.com
  • Www.estorehub.com
  • www.buperiod.com
  • www.akla-baity.com
  • www.Udros.com
  • www.mentorangel.com
  • www.saabgroup.com
  • www.SSPGE.rak.ae
  • www.optimusc.com
  • www.wunba.com
  • Al-Mawta Street
  • www.onesizefitsnone.org
  • www.connate.co
  • www.innofind.com
  • www.Hassankabir.info
  • www.BookUrClass.com
  • www.vseta.com
  • www.qbgrow.com
  • www.cyclelogicals.com
  • www.Occudiz.com


After reading through the applications of 103 teams, we are pleased to announce the top 10 startups that will be pitching at demo night in front of key investors and global influencers. The founders in this cohort are graduates of 30+ MENA programs.

Congratulations to the finalists!

  1. www.theajalaproject.com
  2. www.thepartyup.com
  3. www.UniversalLinguistics.com
  4. www.yallaparking.com
  5. www.shoppingo.ae
  6. www.sharethisspace.ae
  7. www.pricejugaad.ae
  8. www.akla-baity.com
  9. www.newshifts.com
  10. www.helpieapp.com 

Top 3 Win Demo Night: 2016 Digital Accelerator

We are pleased to announce the top 3 winners for the 2016 Middle East Startups Digital Accelerator! Winners represented UAE and Egypt. It was a tough competition but the top three winners are YallaParking (UAE) with 31.5 judge points, judge Uliq (UAE) with 30 points and Akla-Baity (Egypt) with 28 judge points. NewShifts was the winner of the popular vote.