AstroLabs: "Community Partner" for MENA startup event

AstroLabs: “Community Partner” for MENA startup event

CEO Roland Daher says he is delighted to support this year’s competition and provide wider community support

Dubai, 31 August 2023 – London Business School’s MENA Startup Competition has secured the support of AstroLabs for this year’s event, with the AstroLabs Campus facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, offered as a venue for this year’s event. Additionally, AstroLabs is offering a broader, long-term community partnership role for the work that LBS undertakes to promote, teach and support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem within the region.

With ambitions to become one of the most acclaimed startup competitions in MENA, aiming to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with VCs and investors across the region, the inaugural LBS MENA Startup Competition in 2022 attracted strong, talented competition, with leading tech startup, Ollang, crowned the winner.

AstroLabs, an ecosystem builder in MENA since 2013, operates as the region’s trusted partner in solving innovation challenges, building self-sustaining ecosystems, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy by driving impactful large-scale programmes, and fast-tracking regional and global businesses‘ scaling strategies into MENA.

With a mission to build competitive local markets, helping to elevate local enterprises to global standards and enabling international companies to thrive in local landscapes, AstroLabs recognises the importance of the role that LBS plays in the region and the growing prominence of the MENA Startup Competition.

Ramzi Qannati along with Ihab Tabbara, Co-Presidents of the London Business School Entrepreneurship Club, are both managing and providing mentorship for this year’s event, working with a talented body of LBS students from around the world.

Mr Qannati, himself an LBS alumnus (EMBA 2019), said it is rewarding to learn that London Business School, through its work undertaken at the School’s Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC), has become so very well known for its international leadership and educative role in inspiring entrepreneurs and private capital investors.

“Collaborative partnerships play a pivotal role in fostering successful entrepreneurship ecosystems. The presence of aligned partners who not only embrace our vision of generating value for both founders and investors but also bolster our endeavors, magnifies our capacity to drive concrete outcomes. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to welcome AstroLabs as our Community Partner for this year’s LBS MENA Startup Competition. By empowering the broader business ecosystem with essential tools, expertise, and profound insights necessary for catalyzing growth, we hold a strong belief that AstroLabs will significantly enrich this journey as a valuable contributor,” says Mr Qannati.

Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs and an LBS alumnus (MBA 2010), said, ”We’ve been actively supporting this ecosystem for a solid decade now, and there’s a noticeable rise in the competitive capacity of regional startups and SMEs on the global level. Partnering with the LBS MENA Startup Competition is another way for us to continue honoring our commitment to enabling the entrepreneurial landscape.”

Daher added, “This year’s competition is particularly interesting for us. Aligned with the business school’s broader objectives, we’re excited to be part of this initiative and support building a stronger connection between LBS and the wider entrepreneurial community. Our partnership aims to facilitate the integration of a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs into our regional framework and provide a boost to their scaling strategies.”

Also to be included in the package of support for this year’s competition by AstroLabs will be access to mentorship for the finalists and a platform of valuable support for this year’s winner, including discount membership of AstroLabs itself.

Speaking about the association with AstroLabs, Mr Qannati added: “I am an ardent believer in the abilities of young people within the MENA region who are driving the country’s growing enterprise sector. When I see relationships such the one forged between AstroLabs and this exciting new LBS startup competition I don’t just see a connection being made, but rather an entire ecosystem growing and flourishing”.

About the LBS MENA Startup Competition

Led by the London Business School Entrepreneurship Club, and supported by the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC), as well as an array of strategic entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders is taking place at AstroLabs, the official Community Partner for 2023. Now in its second year, this highly esteemed competition aims to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and investors in the region.

Key dates

July 28:
August 14: August/September: September 14: October 10:

About AstroLabs

Applications deadline Shortlisting of top 30 teams Two-month mentorship
Virtual semi-finals
Final Pitch Competition in Dubai

AstroLabs is an ecosystem builder that enables the growth of people, companies, and innovation capacities on a regional level. With 10 years of active building in MENA and a vibrant community across 3 coworking spaces in the UAE & KSA, AstroLabs is MENA’s trusted partner in solving the innovation challenges of tomorrow by navigating the entrepreneurial landscapes of today.

Partnering with key industry shapers, including governmental entities, corporates & enterprises, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, AstroLabs designs and facilitates ecosystem transformations through business expansion and market entry operations, SME ecosystem building, digital upskilling, entrepreneurship, and innovation programs, as well as value-focused talent recruitment practices.

About The Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC)

Entrepreneurship and finance have been at the heart of London Business School for the last 20 years. In 2021, the School launched the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC), born from a timely merger of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Private Equity.

Both the Institute and Centre were already hugely significant, within London Business School and as parts of the wider business ecosystem. Together, IEPC aims to become an unparalleled centre for education, policy shaping and events covering all aspects of entrepreneurship, from idea generation to financing, and private markets investing. The IEPC will help create and finance the companies of the future and shape the people who will lead them.

About London Business School

London Business School’s vision is to have a profound impact on the way the world does business and the way business impacts the world. The School is widely acknowledged as a centre for outstanding research.

As well as its highly ranked degree programmes, the School offers award-winning Executive Education programmes to business leaders from around the world.

As well as its main campus in London, London Business School has a campus in Dubai, and a presence in three additional international cities – New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The School equips its diverse student body with the tools needed to tackle today’s business challenges and connects them with many of the world’s leading thinkers.

The School has more than 50,000 alumni working in more than 157 countries. Together, they are a community defined by a wealth of knowledge, business experience and worldwide networking opportunities.

London Business School’s 240 faculty members come from over 30 countries. They cover seven subject areas: accounting, economics, finance, management science and operations, marketing, organisational behaviour, and strategy and entrepreneurship.