GEMS Education, a UAE-based K-12 private education provider, launched its Youth Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program powered by GEMS World Academy and sponsored by CAFU.
A first of its kind in the region, the school-based accelerator program covers all aspects of turning an idea into a fully-fledged operational startup. With the help of a cohort of experienced mentors, participants will learn to identify problems in their businesses and develop solutions; build prototypes of their products; conduct market research and develop a market strategy; come up with financial models; learn leadership and management skills; and become familiar with investor pitching. At the end of the program in May, the selected teams will have a demo day where they’ll get a chance to pitch their startups to external investors.
“Through this real-life, project-based approach to business, students will build the skills that are essential for their future,” said Helen Al Uzaizi, Director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact at GEMS World Academy in Dubai. “The accelerator is the first of its kind to bring this high level of business acumen and entrepreneurial support that we see within global accelerators for adult entrepreneurs. Our goal through this programme is to help students develop real investment-ready businesses.”
CAFU, an on-demand fuel delivery and car service application, is the accelerator’s main sponsor and will be providing the students with mentorship and access to its network of business experts. “This unique offering will help safeguard the UAE’s startup ecosystem by empowering students and fostering their entrepreneurial spirit. As a Dubai-born brand deeply rooted in the UAE, this is close to our hearts, and we believe that this accelerator will prepare tomorrow’s leaders for success in an ever-evolving economic landscape,” said Nabra Al Busaidi, Community and Sustainability Manager at CAFU.
The comprehensive program was open to all students across the GEMS Education network. Over 65 teams applied and, after a selection process, 12 made it through. The teams will be made up of a CEO, a Product Manager, a Chief Marketing Officer, an Innovation Lead, and a Chief Financial Officer. Among the selected teams are Tranquil, an online mental health platform for teens that tracks their well-being; Carbon Wallet, an application that rewards users on their sustainable practices and activities with the help of AI; and YOLO, an application that facilitates conversations in awkward social settings.