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Tecom launches Dh60m incubator for media start-ups in Dubai

Tecom Business Parks has announced the launch of a new Dh60 million incubator building for media start-ups.

The facility, called in5 Media, will be housed in a purpose-built centre in Tecom’s International Media Production Zone. It will contain creative space for media start-ups as well as editing suites and production studies, fabrication labs, recording studios, screening rooms and other facilities.

The building will house up to 200 start-up entrepreneurs for periods of up to five months while they develop their businesses. During that time, they will be able to get help from mentors and industry experts, access an existing network of funders and gain help with company registration.

Tecom Business Parks said it would begin to accept applications from potential start-ups in the first quarter of next year, ahead of the building’s completion in the second quarter.

Malek Al Malek, the chief executive of Tecom Business Parks, said that the building had been created as part of a Dh4.5 billion innovation strategy announced by the organisation last year, and follows on from the earlier launch of the in5 innovation hub for technology companies in 2013. It is based at Dubai Knowledge Village.

He added that the incubator would be able to draw on talent from Dubai’s existing media community, which is home to 2,000 companies, a workforce of 25,000 and more than 5,000 media students.

“The objectives of these specific segmented incubation centres are to accelerate start-ups and foster entrepreneurial activities,” he said. “This media-specific one will drive innovation through encouraging new initiatives and new mega-trends within the media sector, and continue to promote Dubai as an ideal location for someone who wants to start a media or a new media activity.”

In February this year, the US-based Ewing Kauffman Foundation, an organisation promoting economic independence through a focus on education and entrepreneurship, argued that much more evidence was needed to effectively assess whether or not incubators are beneficial for emerging businesses.

It argued that hardly any effective research had been carried out to assess whether incubated businesses perform better than non-incubated ones.

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