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Softbank and Microsoft help Abu Dhabi launch Tech Hub



Mubadala Ventures, the tech arm of a Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, issued a $ 142 million tech incubator called Hub71 on Sunday, as well as a $ 145 million investment fund for investment in It's a place where, for the first time, there are all the key ingredients that these startups need to bring together to make them truly successful, "said Elham Alqasim, acting CEO of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Alqasim said. that companies will also receive financial incentives and important government and regulatory support.

Softbank and Microsoft have not made any financial commitments to Hub71, but will have local staff backing the Hub and its startups.

"Microsoft is proud to announce its collaboration build transformative businesses, said Microsoft Gulf on Sunday in a Twee t . The tech giant will offer its start-ups at Hub71 at preferential rates, said Alqasim.

Softbank boss Masayoshi Son has taken a video message for the announcement.

"This is a groundbreaking project where technology companies, startups, scientists and investors will work together to create something truly exciting for the technology sector in the region and beyond," Son said in a statement.

Son has close ties with Abu Dhabi, which contributed $ 15 billion to Softbank's $ 100 billion fund.

Hub71 will accept applications in April and expect to have at least 100 startups in the coming years. It is competing with neighboring Dubai, which already has several established hubs and positions itself as a regional pioneer.

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Abu Dhabi does not yet have a remarkable start-up from the city. High start-up costs such as licenses, employee visas and obligatory office space rents have often deterred entrepreneurs. Also, the region lacks early funding that attracts large investors.

To meet some challenges, Abu Dhabi now offers a two-year startup license for $ 700. These include visas for up to 4 employees and no office space. Hub71 will provide free housing, office space and healthcare for seed technology companies, as well as 50% incentive packages for more established companies.

"We want to make sure this is not a disruptive technology in the beginning. We want to make sure that there are no barriers in the early years," Alqasim told CNN Business.


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