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ASPIRE launches in United Arab Emirates with exclusive partner - DIFC FinTech Hive

05 October 2020

Dubai, UAE, 5th October 2020: Rainmaking, a corporate innovation and venture development firm, and parent company of Startupbootcamp, today announces that it has secured an exclusive partner in United Arab Emirates to rollout ASPIRE - its virtual accelerator focused on enabling corporates to empower their departing talent to build their own startups.

The partnership has been agreed with Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) FinTech Hive. DIFC is a leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of US$ 7.7 trillion.

Chris Locke, CEO of ASPIRE: “Rainmaking is delighted to have the opportunity to work with DIFC FinTech Hive as our exclusive partner in Dubai. The partnership provides a pioneering new way of helping departing talent stay within the UAE and create new ventures that solve critical challenges. We are confident it will become an instrumental vehicle in helping to rebuild the local economy.”

Companies making redundancies can access the ASPIRE programme via the DIFC FinTech Hive. In the next 12 months the ambition is to rollout the programme to a minimum of 5,000 participants, which will build an ecosystem of new businesses that will generate economic growth and attract new talent into Dubai.

ASPIRE is a 20-week programme that will equip departing talent with the skills they need to develop a revenue generating business. It is based on Startupbootcamp’s proven methodology, which is designed to improve the 10% survival rate of early stage startups - nearly three quarters (74%) of the 900 startups that have graduated Startupbootcamp are either still active or have exited. The programme includes:

  • Self-guided virtual programme with weekly starts and playbooks
  • Weekly workshops and group coaching
  • 1:1 coaching and practice pitch sessions
  • Access to early stage VCs, angel investors and over 100 carefully selected mentors
  • More than $550K+ in exclusive partner deals from leading technology and wellbeing providers such as Amazon, 7 cups, HubSpot and SendGrid


Chris Locke, CEO of ASPIRE: “We have developed this programme to solve the biggest challenge facing employers and workers today. The world of work is changing, and times of rapid disruption provide ample opportunities for startups to develop and thrive. By equipping departing workers with training to start their own business, they can drive positive change, protect their brand, play a proactive role in stimulating growth and even open up future revenue opportunities.”

Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of DIFC FinTech Hive said:“DIFC FinTech Hive is excited to be expanding our partnership to Rainmaking to introduce the ASPIRE virtual accelerator programme. It is a natural expansion to our relationship with them given our Startupbootcamp programme has been very successful. The ASPIRE programme will help retain talented individuals in Dubai who want to make a difference to our economy. As firms accelerating their digital agendas and people become more entrepreneurial we will provide a platform and opportunities for participants to realise their ambitions.”