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UAE accelerator program ranked top five for emerging markets by Seedstars
Source: ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon October 9, 2017 1:57 pm

UAE.: Turn8, a venture building programme from the UAE that aims to turn tech into marketable products, was ranked fifth in emerging markets around the world by Seedstars, just a short way behind The Nucleus run by the UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH), which was declared number one.

The Swiss-based global company that promotes the world’s start-ups, ranked UAE’s Turn8 as one of the best in terms of the value it provides and the benefits it gives to start-ups who join its program.

The UAE did well overall, with its Seed Startup program ranked at number 11 in emerging markets, and its Flat6 Labs Abu Dhabi ranked at number 16 – so occupying three places in the top 20.

To decide the rankings, Seedstars pulled together data from 44 start-up programs across the developed world and emerging markets, and leading factors in their analysis were:

- The cash made available to start-ups - a key consideration for founders as it will often be the only lifeline during a program;
- Equity – the percentage stake in a firm that the program takes;
- Program fees – the amount start-ups pay for the services they receive from the various programs for providing tools and access that new firms won’t normally have;
- The programs’ offer on an equity basis – to arrive at this figure, Seedstars combined the cash investment with the program fees to calculate an implied valuation of firms on different programs.

Taking all these factors into consideration, The Nucleus program came out on top in emerging markets, with Lebanese start-up companies taking part valued at an average $1,616,667.

A key contribution to this is that The Nucleus takes the lowest equity stake in any start-ups who come on board, an average of just 3%. Most other emerging counties in the rankings took a percentage stake in double figures, the highest being 22% from an accelerator in Ghana.

Other accelerators in the emerging markets rankings included Argentina’s Eklos which came in second place with its companies valued at an average $1,209,000; India’s ISME ACE FinTech Accelerator which came third with companies valued at an average $1,150,000; Oman’s Wadi Accelerator in fourth place with companies valued at $1,089,000; and UAE’s Turn8 which was fifth with companies valued at $1,045,000.

Other accelerator programs in the rankings included those from Mexico, Jordan, Brazil, Ghana, Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and all these other emerging markets had companies valued at averages of less than $1m.

The objective of the analysis was to understand exactly how the offerings of different acceleration, growth and incubation programs compared.

Charlie Graham-Brown, CFO at Seedstars World, said: “There is a lot of analysis on the results of the different accelerators in terms of funding raised for batches and successes/failures but nothing regarding the actual package founders get in terms of the implied valuation going into a program.

“Accelerator packages aren’t easy to compare as they offer different structures (equity vs convertible), sometimes contain program fees, run for different lengths and of course be of different quality.”

Nadim Zaazaa, Acting Managing Director of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub, said: “The Nucleus is a refined version of the startup accelerator that the hub launched in 2015. To rank top in emerging markets means we are on the right track. Our Seedstars ranking is a great endorsement of the true value of our program to our start-ups. After all, it is their growth that underlines our success.”

Photo Captions:
1. (above)  Nadim Zaazaa, Acting Managing Director of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub
2. (inset)  For illustrative purposes only (File photo)

About The UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH)

The UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH) is a joint initiative by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s Central Bank, and the UK government through the British Embassy in Beirut.  It aims to support the growth of the knowledge economy in Lebanon through the development of tech companies in the country and create opportunities for the brightest Lebanese talent to access international markets.

More information can be found at:



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