Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has revealed 14 startups and SME winners to join its Launchpad accelerator programme across three categories, Homegrown, Health and Beauty, and Proptech. The successful companies will now receive unrivalled access to business growth incentives, mentorship programmes and the vast Majid Al Futtaim innovation ecosystem to strengthen their commercial viability across the region.
Following the initial announcement of the programme and an open call for submissions in partnership with AstroLabs, Majid Al Futtaim received 196 applications from across the MENAP region and globally. From 23 shortlisted applicants demonstrating ingenuity, originality and vast commercial potential, the winning startups include The Bath Land, The Hair Addict, The Zola Collective, Wallace & Co, Sigma-Fit, Opio, Reform Studio, Little Sol+, Kiliim, Thaely, Boksha, Stake, enVerid Systems and Disrupt-X.
Joe Abi Akl, Chief Corporate Development Officer at Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: “The Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad initiative is a vital element of our ecosystem, nurturing entrepreneurship and supporting small and medium enterprises in the pursuit of innovation, creativity, and growth. Today’s announcement is a critical step forward in our mission to support small businesses in their journey to create new products and services that could ultimately become our business partners and suppliers in the future. The programme will now begin delivering a host of significant benefits, supporting our vision of building a meaningful, efficient, effective and globally integrated business environment.”
Roland Daher, Chief Executive Officer at AstroLabs, said: "The Launchpad Program is a milestone in our journey of accelerating innovation for industry leaders in MENA and growth through strategic expansion into new markets, customer segments, and channels by plugging future-forward companies into Majid Al Futtaim’s value chain. A key factor to the success of this initiative was the involvement and commitment of Majid Al Futtaim's senior leadership and business unit heads, working closely with the AstroLabs team to identify market opportunities these emerging businesses will be solving for. We engaged our extensive local & global innovation network to source the top offerings in their respective verticals and drive potential synergies that will be at the forefront of Majid Al Futtaim’s long-term business and economic growth.’’
The first round of Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad programme focused efforts on supporting core growth areas, including Homegrown Brands to attract startups with a unique and fascinating story, focusing on culture and heritage, sustainability, and innovation; Health and Beauty to identify and elevate startups with innovative products and tech solutions designed to elevate the customer experience; and Proptech to target startups that offer innovative and sustainable solutions to help optimise the efficiency of construction, digitise property development, residential communities and hotels spaces, and enhance the experiences in the shopping mall.
Providing best-in-class mentoring and supporting companies to grow their business quickly while attracting, nurturing, and supporting world-class talent, the Launchpad initiative reaffirms the company’s role in the private sector as a driver of local economies and its long-term ambition to be a partner of choice for pioneering initiatives and investments in the region.