Dubai-based Tecom Group has unveiled an incubator targeting startups in the design space, it said in a statement. It will be the third incubator under Tecom’s in5 network.
The incubator, to be located at the Dubai Design District (d3), is slated to open in January 2017. It will provide a prototyping lab, offering equipment such as 3D printers, electronics, and machinery for designers working with metals, wood, plastic and textiles.
Also, it will provide co-working spaces, offices and community areas.
Besides, members will have access to a library of raw materials and design workstations to help develop their concepts into prototypes.
The incubator will also offer training and mentorship.
According to the 2015 Design MENA Outlook report commissioned by Dubai Design and Fashion Council and produced by Deloitte, the design industry in the region is expected to grow exponentially to reach $55bn by 2019,
“The recent MENA Design Educational Outlook report also highlights the need for at least 30,000 design graduates across key streams,” Malek Al Malek, CEO said.
“We are looking for new ways to drive the design industry by nurturing local talent while allowing established brands to meet a new audience,” said Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of d3.
Through in5, we (aim to) support the design and fashion industry through offering students, entrepreneurs and new businesses the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures, Al Shehhi said.
Tecom Group launched the in5 incubation platform in 2013.
The same year, it launched in5 technology center which helped incubate 160 startups so far.
These startups have raised over Dhs58 million in funding to date.
In 2015, in5 said it would set up a media innovation center in Dubai Production City. The center is expected to open in early 2017.
In5 was first launched to fill the gap in industry resources catering to the needs of entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Dubai to create impact across our region, according to Al Malek.
“In5 has evolved to supporting startups in the media sector and now with our entry into the design space, we will aid in setting a new benchmark in creativity,” Al Malek said.
The in5 network of innovation centers plans to expand into new sectors and achieve ten times growth by 2017, according to the statement.