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Dubai company to fund three smart start-ups

Intigral, will invest up to US$20,000 in each idea it selects and expects to turn it into a marketable product in three months through Afkar.me, its incubator for digital ideas.

A Dubai-based digital media company is seeking start-up ideas as it adds another incubator to the landscape.

The company, Intigral, will invest up to US$20,000 in each idea it selects and expects to turn it into a marketable product in three months through Afkar.me, its incubator for digital ideas.

In the first round of funding, three teams of entrepreneurs will be based at Intigral's office in Dubai Studio City. Early next year, the programme is to be extended to Riyadh, where three more teams will be based.

Intigral will provide mentoring, office space and access to markets through its partners, including du, Saudi Telecom and its Viva subsidiaries, and Sudan's Sudatel.

In return, Intigral will seek a revenue share of between 20 and 30 per cent from each start-up when it starts generating money.

"There is a big gap in the market when it comes to funding, mentoring guidance for creating the product and access to the market," said Juan Josť De La Torre, the vice-president of strategy and corporate development at Intigral.

The applications for start-up ideas are open until the first week of November, when 10 ideas are to be selected and go through a weekend-long training process.

"We will be expanding to other Arab cities in the next phase and go to Cairo, Beirut, Amman and even hopefully Damascus," said Ismaeel Makdisi, Intigral's acting chief executive.

About 12 mentors, who will include angel investors, venture capitalists or anyone with a track record from the Middle East, Europe or the United States will give weekly support to the start-ups through videoconferencing.

Intigral is expanding its range. Eight months ago it launched Dawriplus.com, an online platform which has exclusive rights to stream the Saudi football league.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

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