‘Dubai’ has become the buzzword world over. This is a city that has imploded with transformation – becoming a supportive hub for young as well as experienced entrepreneurs who are bursting forth with fresh ideas. This is exactly why Louis Lebbos and Muhammed Mekki decided to set up AstroLabs here.
Having spotted a need for an interaction-based environment where technology enthusiasts could possibly emerge into full-fledged entrepreneurs, this duo decided to build a physical space to help tech startups by providing mentorship, bespoke events, programming, and guidelines of setting up their businesses – all under the umbrella of AstroLabs.
Taking inspiration from the stars above, the name AstroLabs is a play on the word ‘astrolabe’, which is an astronomical instrument that was historically used to predict the position of the planets and other luminaries.
As above, so below – because the process of setting up businesses is perceived as challenging, AstroLabs has managed to make this process simple and straightforward for new entrepreneurs. To become part of this community, AstroLabs has tailored packages that budding tech company owners can choose from namely, the licensed membership, monthly membership, and the moonlighter membership.
According to Muhammed Mekki, “Dubai is the de facto hub for the Middle East when it comes to setting up and scaling up technology and digital startups. A lot of the companies that started up in another region and have progressed and reached a level of saturation, have come out to establish themselves here, to access the Gulf market that has great activity and that is very well connected to the rest of the world. There’s a lot of investment capital, and we can locate talent from the rest of the world. There’s also no corporate taxes, no income tax, and there are a multitude of reasons why this is the place a lot of these companies choose to be in.
Till date, AstroLabs is host to 80 startups, who have completed the application and interview process, and are fully a part of the AstroLabs community.
Here are some top tips from the co-owner Muhammed Mekki to budding entrepreneurs:
- Get your idea out and about in the market. Don’t let it stew in your mind. Ask, speak, and inquire!
- Take advantage of the multitude of opportunities available to you in Dubai – startup communities, entrepreneur discounts, mentorship support and programmes.
- Don’t be afraid of sharing your idea with others and asking for opinions. Don’t worry about someone stealing your idea.
- Take time to test your idea by conducting marketing campaigns and beta-launches.
- You will need to be frugal with your finances until enough capital is secured. Bootstrapping is necessary.
If you’d like to enquire or know more about AstroLabs, visit www.astrolabs.com