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01 December 2023

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy unveils new startup showcases to connect businesses with investors at Expand North Star 2023


Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, one of the three chambers under Dubai Chambers, has revealed details of the exciting new showcases making their debut at Expand North Star 2023. India Central, Asia Fast 100, and Africa Fast 100 position the world's biggest gathering of startups and investors as an unmissable event for the global business community.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy’s flagship event will take place at Dubai Harbour from 15th to 18th October 2023 and is set to connect the world's most sought-after startups with innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, and the founders of global success stories.

India Central is the largest showcase of Indian startups outside India, which is home to over 90,000 startups and more than 100 unicorn companies. Around 300 Indian startups are expected to participate in the India Central showcase, together with state ministers, unicorn founders, and leading venture capitalists. The platform features a dedicated conference that will shed light on the Indian tech ecosystem, its regulatory environment, and emerging investment opportunities.

Asia Fast 100 and Africa Fast 100 will bring together 100 of the most promising startups from each continent. Southeast Asia’s tech startups are forecast to reach a combined value of US$1 trillion by 2025, up from just US$340 billion in 2020. Meanwhile, 633 African startups raised a combined US$3.3 billion in 2022, representing a total annual funding level increase of more than 1,000 percent since 2015.

The Asia Fast 100 and Africa Fast 100 showcases follow extensive four-month promotional campaigns and a series of networking events that connected ten of the biggest hubs on both continents. The programmes are the largest showcases for the Asian and African startup communities outside their home regions, and both will feature a packed schedule of conferences, networking opportunities, and dedicated pitch competitions.

Other notable new initiatives include AI Monday, a showcase of over 250 fast-scaling AI startups; the CTO World Congress, a forum offering profound insights into the minds of the world’s leading tech architects and data scientists; and Angel Sunday, a series of unique workshops that includes a guided tour aimed at connecting startups with angel investors.

The exciting new initiatives reflect Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy's commitment to strengthening economic relationships with the Asian and African markets, particularly in the technology and digital transformation spaces. The chamber aims to introduce entrepreneurs and ambitious startups to Dubai's digital ecosystem, facilitate their expansion into the emirate and provide access to the tools they need to thrive in the emirate. Expand North Star is set to support Dubai's transformation into one of the world's leading digital economies, in line with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).

The digital economy has been established as a key pillar of the D33 agenda, which seeks to generate an annual economic contribution of AED 100 billion from digital transformation projects. Expand North Star aims to support this goal by transforming 30 startups into unicorns – privately held startups with a valuation of US$1 billion or more – by 2033.

The event is set to host more than 1,800 startup exhibitors from over 100 countries. More than 1,000 investors with a combined total of over US$1 trillion under management are also heading to Dubai, which is rapidly emerging as a leading capital of the global digital economy.

Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy is targeting the attraction of 300 digital startups to Dubai by 2024 as part of its commitment to advancing the emirate’s digital economy and bringing the ambitions of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to life.