EBRD x MBRIF Partnership

Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund Partners with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Star Venture Program to Foster Innovation in UAE

  • The strategic alliance will empower innovative businesses from EBRD regions to thrive within the UAE’s dynamic innovation ecosystem.
  • The MBRIF will fast-track the application process to its Accelerator program for qualified businesses referred by the EBRD.
Dubai, UAE – XX 2023: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), an initiative by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support innovation, has announced a new partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Star Venture program. Leveraging the complementary capabilities of the two entities, the collaboration will facilitate seamless referrals to the MBRIF Accelerator program for start-ups supported by the EBRD.

The strategic alliance opens a fast-track avenue for innovative businesses to establish and flourish in the UAE market whilst assisting the MBRIF’s members in expanding into emerging markets in Europe.

The partnership was unveiled at Expand North Star 2023, the world’s largest exhibition for start-ups and investors, held at Dubai Harbour. The EBRD brought over 40 innovative start-ups from its regions to the event to explore new opportunities in the UAE.

For her part, Fatima Al Naqbi, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry’s representative at MBRIF, said: “The new partnership accelerates the growth of promising startups, and opens the door to global expansion for a new generation of entrepreneurs in the UAE. It also facilitates forging into new markets for those wishing to come from Europe to explore growth opportunities from the UAE, which has become a regional business hub and a gateway into regional markets.”

She added: “Promoting a culture of innovation is the UAE’s approach to building its national economy, attracting the brightest minds and the best global talent, and building a global network of relationships. We aim to support aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs, and help startups achieve their goals of expansion and growth, and perhaps becoming unicorns that provide innovative solutions and adopt transformative business models, in the fields of health, water, technology, space, renewable energy, transportation, and education, yielding returns for the UAE’s economy and contributing to the development of the global economy.”

Claudio Viezzoli, Managing Director for SME Finance and Development at the EBRD, said: “In our increasingly interconnected world, innovation has no borders. We are proud to join efforts with the MBRIF in supporting start-up growth and development. This partnership will inspire companies to expand their horizons and bolster their success in the vibrant entrepreneurship hub that is the UAE.”

    The EBRD Star Venture program provides world-class business consulting, mentoring, and access to finance and market development support to help start-ups improve efficiency and scale rapidly. To date, the program has assisted over 550 high-potential early-stage companies in 23 countries, spanning the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED), the Western Balkans, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Turkiye.

The MBRIF Accelerator was launched in 2018, offering world-class services and coaching to innovative companies to accelerate their business, elevate capabilities, unlock value, and achieve scale in the UAE.

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