Launchpad X: Majid Al Futtaim fuels MENA startup global expansion

Adgully Bureau | | Reading Time: 6:5 minutes
Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has announced the opening of Launchpad X a dynamic concept store for local startups. The new concept store includes local startups and winners from Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme, which launched last year as an initiative that nurtures entrepreneurship, and supports small and medium entreprises in the pursuit of innovation, creativity and growth.  

Located in City Centre Mirdif, the brand-new Launchpad X concept store is home to a diverse range of local brands that have displayed outstanding innovation, creativity, and growth potential. It connects these budding businesses with the unparalleled go-to-market opportunities offered by Majid Al Futtaim shopping malls. With ‘X’ symbolising the spirit of collaboration, the inauguration of Launchpad X aligns with Majid Al Futtaim’s constant endeavour to support homegrown brands in their journey to become globally recognised businesses. 

The eclectic mix of brands at Launchpad X includes start-ups that are already part of Majid Al Futtaim’s pioneering Launchpad Accelerator Programme, as well as additional small and medium businesses from around the region with demonstrated new product or service capabilities. Launched in 2022, Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme is all about uplifting start-ups and SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in strategic categories. It offers successful participants access to innovative technology, mentorship, training, and go-to-market opportunities.

The brands showcased at Launchpad X include the leading luxury home fragrances company Wallace & Co; sustainable luxury fashion and home essentials brand Reform; premium active and loungewear brand LC; healthy snacks for families Koala Picks; the upcoming sneaker and streetwear boutique HypeSelection; premium matcha and coffee drinks spot Blue Matcha; the fashion line and women’s boutique Bambah; and Egyptian sustainable and ethnic crafts brand Kiliim. 

Commenting on the occasion, Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, Managing Director of the UAE Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties said: “We are delighted to announce the inauguration of Launchpad X, the region’s first truly collaborative commercial store for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The launch of this concept store marks the next major milestone in Majid Al Futtaim’s strategic focus to help unlock the incredible potential of startups in the region. It builds on the extraordinary success of our Launchpad Accelerator Programme over the past couple of years.”

“We are confident that Launchpad X will not only connect the region’s leading start-ups to new opportunities that strengthen their commercial footprint but also be a catalyst for innovation and a powerful force for driving the region’s economic development.”

In partnership with AstroLabs, Microsoft and DIFC Launchpad, Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme unlocks value by partnering with and investing in innovative startups and SMEs that benefit from the reach and scale of the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem. 

Catering to homegrown brands across segments such as fashion and lifestyle, leisure, climatetech, and community, the Launchpad programme is a pillar of support for local entrepreneurs. Nearly 50% of its initial cohort of winners were female entrepreneurs, who gained access to tangible growth opportunities with Majid Al Futtaim, such as accelerating customer acquisition, improving operational efficiencies, and access to new revenue streams.

Programme winners who earlier had the opportunity to introduce their innovative solutions within Majid Al Futtaim’s portfolio through fully funded pilot programmes, can now explore a commercial customer base with the rollout of Launchpad X, in line with the group’s vision of building a meaningful and globally integrated business environment. The new winners for the second edition of Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad Accelerator Programme will be announced by September 27, and will cater to homegrown and climatetech segments.