Microsoft for Startups MEA’s GrowthX Accelerator cohort 2 reaches halfway mark

Startups participating in the program are receiving hands-on, practical training in preparation for their pitches to DHL, Etisalat, EY, Koç Holding, and PwC.

The second edition of Microsoft for Startups’ GrowthX Accelerator program is halfway through completion, with the cohort of 21 startups gaining invaluable knowledge aimed at helping them grow and scale their businesses.

Part of a strategic partnership between the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Microsoft for Startups, the GrowthX Accelerator is a 12-week program designed to bridge the gap between corporates and B2B tech startups across the Middle East and Africa by enabling them to work together and solve unique challenges.

“Startups offer creative, innovative solutions to challenges faced in businesses and communities everywhere,” said Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO. “Programs such as the GrowthX Accelerator offer them hands-on, practical training that will help them grow and scale their businesses in the shorter-term, and drive further impact in the long-term. It has been truly rewarding to receive positive feedback from the second cohort of startups. Through such programs, Abu Dhabi will continue to foster an enabling business environment and support startups with the access they need to grow.”

Since commencing in March 2022, the second edition of the program has empowered 21 B2B tech startups with hands-on training and mentorship from the Microsoft for Startups team, as well as the program’s Corporate Engagement Partners which include DHL, Etisalat, EY, Koç Holding, and PwC. Corporate partners are holding bi-weekly mentorship sessions with founders, giving them an opportunity to enhance their business models, modify their tech solutions and discover new customer acquisition techniques.

A notable highlight for founders has been the ‘Pitch Deck Clinics,” where they are guided on best practices to enhance their investment and sales decks. Startups have also participated in weekly sessions on topics such as Go to Market Strategy, where they explored best practices for early-stage customer acquisition, sales processes and communicating company values. Another standout session was on Growth Hacking, which offered vital information to help startups clearly structure a growth plan and always maintain a growth mindset.

In addition to these valuable teachings that founders can leverage to scale their businesses once the program has concluded, the sessions also prepare participating startups for the corporate sessions they will attend later in the program, where they will pitch their innovative business idea to the program’s participating corporates.

“Over the past few weeks, I have been excited to see how the startups have leveraged the program to engage with our knowledge partners and mentors to enhance areas of their business” said Andrew Macadam, Global Founder Success Director, Microsoft for Startups. “Our partner Stripe delivered an in-depth session on pricing and monetization which gave the cohort insights into how to test pricing, understand the competition as well as how to understand customer personas. Additionally, the startups were able to have access to interesting B2B marketing techniques through a session led by LinkedIn, which they can apply to their own marketing strategies and teams to optimise overall reach and supercharge their growth in the region.”

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