Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, share a light moment with Dr William W. Destler, President of the Rochester Institute of Technology, during the launch of RIT Dubai’s new campus in Silicon Oasis. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) marked the launch of its new Dubai campus in Dubai Silicon Oasis on Monday with the initiation of the university's business incubation centre.

The centre, which received an initial investment of up to Dh10 million from Silicon Oasis and other companies, aims to nurture business ideas from their infancy.

"The technology incubator is a place for people with small business ideas to get the space and support," said Dr Mustafa Abushagur, president of RIT Dubai. "Anyone with a great idea is welcome."

The incubator space is located on the third floor of the new campus, which spans 60,000 square feet across three floors in the free zone's Techno Point facility. Dr Abushagur added the centre is currently under renovation and should be up and running in a couple of months once a director has been appointed.

Direct links

With the space to host up to 15 start-ups, RIT Dubai's technology incubation centre will have direct links with the facility at RIT New York.

"The benefit of the link with New York is being able to bring in US expertise on how to start these new companies here in Dubai."

Business ideas will be screened by a board in a Dragon's Den style fashion and upon success are eligible to up to Dh250,000 in funding, depending on the idea.

"Obviously, we can't go beyond the Dh250,000 mark for a start-up as an initial investment before the first annual performance is assessed," he said.

He added the initial funding the incubation centre is enough to cover the centre's operations and start-up funding for two years.

The new RIT Dubai campus will cater to up to 600 students, which falls in line with the university's four-year expansion plan.