DUBAI: UAE-based conglomerate A.R.M. Holding has joined forces with Dubai Design Week’s Global Grad Show (GGS), to establish a 10-year-fund of $2.7 million to back and nurture start-ups conceived by graduate talent from across the globe.
“The fund is very important for us because we would like to empower students from all over the world,” Mohammad Al-Shehhi, chief executive officer of A.R.M Holding, told Arab News. “We want to invest in the most creative ideas from the best universities around the world.”
As the former COO and then CEO of Dubai Design District (d3), Al-Shehhi had the chance to see first-hand the wealth of talent showcased by the GGS — an annual showcase of student-designed innovations from around the world.
A strong advocate of young talent, Al-Shehhi’s new initiative aims to provide international creatives with the support and financial encouragement they require while simultaneously supporting the ecosystem of start-ups and bolstering the level of talent flowing into the country and region.
“Through the fund, we are looking to bring inventions and ideas to life in Dubai by enabling students to develop their projects for the region,” Al-Shehhi said.
The winning projects will be selected by a community of senior executives from diverse industries that were hand-picked by Al-Shehhi to represent the conglomerate. “We will make sure that we choose projects from a number of different industries, including health care, technology and sustainability,” he explained of the jury’s selection process.
Taking place annually during Dubai Design Week, the Global Grad showcases student-designed innovations from more than 100 universities around the world. “The Global Grad Show combines some of the most brilliant students from top universities across the globe under one roof,” Al-Shehhi added.
“Most great ideas that we see today in the market, including Facebook, they all began as small start-ups in universities,” he mused, “So you never know, the next big entrepreneur could be one of our winners.”