As I promised in my 1st post about Dubai, I’ll talk in this post about the incubator that we were lucky enough to get accepted in, its called In5 (part of Dubai Internet City). In5 is an incubator that provides you with office space, mentorship, company registration and exposure to potential investors. In5 selects 10 Tech startups and supports them for a duration of 3 months. In5 doesn’t provide funding similar to Y Combinator and Tech Stars, but they also don’t take any equity. So yes they are an incubator and not an accelerator (I actually always confuse between the two, but you can find the best answer for the difference between an accelerator and an incubator here)
Let’s dig deeper into details of the things they provide:
So we get a nice villa (for work, not to live in it) which is supposed to be shared for the 10 startups. It’s awesome, we have meeting rooms, a lounge (with 2 huge TV sets, PlayStation, an X-Box), a terrace and a free wifi connection. Check the photos below (the photos probably need some editing, but I’m sooo tired right now, so my apologies):
The office is not completely free, they still charge us 1,000AED per month (US$270), which is very good deal for us. The parking is still an issue, we have many universities next to us and you can’t find a parking. They promised to solve this issue and I’m sure they will do soon.
2- Company registration:
That was a major issue to us, registering a company is not that cheap. Usually it will cost you between 9,000AED to 15,000AED (US$2,500 to US$4,000) to register the company in Dubai Free Zone. But, with In5 we only need to pay 1,500AED. I didn’t finish registering the company, but it should pretty easy. I just need to sign the papers then open a bank account, transfer the minimum amount of capital (which is around US$13,500) and I should be done.
3- Learning from other startups:
We are currently only two startups in the villa, us and doctorized.com. I know that doctorized was part of In5 for a while now, and they are really doing an impressive job. I’m learning a lot from these guys, since they are offering a booking solution, but for doctors instead of boats. There are some other startups that I know that they got accepted, but didn’t move yet (they are moving soon or already have other offices) www.travelervip.com/ and www.snapp.ae/.
We didn’t get any mentors yet, but we know that we will have access to many great mentors and advisors. Dubai Internet City (or DIC) is the house for many huge tech companies such as Google, Oracle, Facebook, IBM and many others. Many of these companies are happy to help the small startup community and share their knowledge. So for this part we are still not sure who we will end up with.
As I said, In5 don’t give us money, however they’ll help us raise money. At the end of the 3 months program they will do a demo, so that all startups gets the chance to get on stage and pitch their company in front of investors (maybe around 20-30 investors).
You can still apply to In5 by visiting their website here.
That’s everything, see you all next week.