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DSO and MIT Honour Winner of MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator's First Cohort

DSO and MIT Honour Winner of MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator's First Cohort

Sunday, February 25, 2024/ Editor -  


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Celebrating Innovation and Global Collaboration, Recognising Sustainability

Dubai, UAE: 24 February 2024 – Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with the Global Growth Hub (GGH), have recently concluded MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator’s (MDXB) Demo Day at DSO, the special economic zone for knowledge and innovation and a member of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ).

The winning team, Othalo from Oslo, was awarded at an event that celebrated the culmination of an intensive five-week curriculum followed by another month of design and business classes, undergone by the 12 innovative startups that made up the inaugural cohort of MDXB.

These visionary teams, hailing from Oslo, London, Jerusalem, Boston, and Dubai, worked collaboratively to develop innovative technologies aimed at addressing the evolving global challenges in urban environments, such as water, climate, food security, and energy. The program showcased the power of international partnerships in fostering innovation, providing a platform for the participating teams to present their groundbreaking ideas to local investors, corporates, and government entities.

Commenting on the success of the MDXB Demo Day, Juma al Matrooshi, Director General of Dubai silicon Oasis, said: “The MDXB programme and the solutions that the startups conceptualised align with the announcement of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, that 2024 will be the continuation of the Year of Sustainability, reaffirming the UAE’s commitment to fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for all. The first cohort of startups in MDXB utilised advanced technology to present innovative solutions to a series of shared environmental and business problems. DSO is delighted to have accompanied these teams on their development journey, witness their growth, and see the final outcomes they presented.”

For his part, Gilad Rosenzweig, Executive Director of DesignX at the MIT School of Architecture & Planning, said: “Dubai is an innovation hub, and the first cohort of MDXB has truly shown us their stunning capabilities in conceptualizing innovative solutions that captivate the world. I’m inspired by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and groundbreaking solutions. Together with DSO and Global Growth Hub, we’re fostering a dynamic ecosystem that drives transformative change and shapes the future.”

For his part, Omar Hassan, Managing Director of Global Growth Hub, shared his excitement about the success of the first phase and looked forward to the next chapter. He said: “This only marks the first phase of the programme. We are thrilled to be kicking off phase two, which will focus on supporting entrepreneurs with their market growth and development in the UAE.”

As part of their prize, the winning Othalo team was awarded an investment of US$200,000. Their groundbreaking technology, addressing the pressing issue of plastic waste, ingeniously repurposes it to construct homes for some of the world’s most deprived communities. Frank Catoo, Founder of Othalo, expressed his gratitude, saying: “The MDXB program has been pivotal for us. We always believed that the UAE could be a great enabler for our global growth, and we are excited to take our technology to the world from here.”

The selected startups in MDXB’s inaugural cohort share a strong focus on sustainability and technology. Their business ideas include extracting water from air, innovative ideas for cooling data centres, recycling initiatives, and air pollution reduction. They are – ActDivate, Airvi, FUSE, Othalo, Project UltraCool, Reclusters, Regeny, Sustainability Kiosk, Suswater, Tile Green, and The Surpluss.

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