Global first to provide a Venture Studio Launchpad and Research Living Lab to develop the 'ubiquitous finance' ecosystem including Open Finance, Digital Assets and Web3 in DIFC. Image Credit: DIFC

Dubai: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched the world’s first venture studio platform - Studio Launchpad. The platform focusses on ubiquitous finance and digital asset technologies.

The Studio Launchpad is supported by an international group of venture building experts, digital asset pioneers and emerging technology strategists. It is designed to attract and engage a consortium of leading start-up and corporate venture studios. The effort builds upon DIFC’s ecosystem to enable collaboration and co-creation between venture studios, corporations, entrepreneurs, investors and academic partners from around the world.

With this initiative, Dubai is expected to become the leading hub for venture building in MEASA and join cities like San Francisco, New York, Berlin and Paris. Over the next 5 years, over 20 studios will setup in the DIFC and are expected to launch over 200 new ventures of which over 100 will be scale-ups and 10 will gain unicorn status. Together they will create over 8,000 innovation jobs in Dubai and attract over Dh2 billion in venture capital.

Venture studios
Venture studios are innovative organisations that proactively build and invest in start-ups and help them actively achieve success with their own internal capabilities. There are over 730 active venture studios around the world. Over 50% of them launched in the past 5 years.

The rate of growth among corporate venture studios is even higher. New ventures that launch from studios experience 30% higher company success rates and about 5% make it to unicorn status according to research published by the Global Startup Studio Network.

“We see great potential to leverage the venture studio model to accelerate creation of scale-ups and unicorns from Dubai that will contribute over-proportionally to new job creation and economic development,” said Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC. “DIFC is building an ecosystem from the ground-up that will support studios and founders with everything they need to be successful and reimagine virtually every aspect of the financial services value chain to help realise Dubai’s ambitions for the digital era.”

The Studio Launchpad streamlines the company-formation process and fast-tracks the development of new companies that will underpin DIFC’s quickly developing ‘Ubiquitous Finance’ ecosystem. The Launchpad also supports fundraising and scaling of new ventures by providing resident venture studio operators with access to a global network of potential customers, and entrepreneurs.

Research Living Lab

Part of the Launchpad offering will be a first-of-its-kind Research Living Lab that will drive thought leadership and hands-on research in this fast-evolving space. The Lab aims to open new opportunities and produce data and insights that can inform how to shape existing and future business models, laws, and regulations.

DIFC has broken ground on a new 150,000+ sq. ft. purpose-built facility that will house the Studio Launchpad team who will work alongside corporate sponsors, investors, and the new ventures they co-create.