Structured market entry into the dynamic and high potential ecosystem of the UAE via our program

The Program

Rainmaking Expand: United Arab Emirates is a 4-month opportunity for growth stage startups & SMEs, with a Singaporean legal entity, to accelerate market entry into the UAE, focusing on business development and leveraging genuine commercial opportunities.

Sponsored by Enterprise Singapore, our Rainmaking Expand framework aims to accelerate the speed to market while de-risking market expansion through a rigorous viability assessment, curated expert guidance and targeted introductions to strong business leads.

During the program, your time will focus on ramping up for your market entry into the UAE, covering topics such as mapping, assessing and validating real commercial opportunities with the support of our in-market experts. Our goal is to drive commercial opportunity with you, and provide leads for early business development and detailed validation. This approach features two 2-month phases, focused on validating, refining and de-risking market entry into the UAE.

Applications for this program are currently open, please apply below.

Phase 1

Market Ramp-Up

8 Weeks Remote

This phase focuses on helping companies understand the UAE market in detail, gain an understanding on how to validate their business for market entry, and to begin building networks into UAE.

Market Discovery & Expansion Readiness

A 4-week sprint of workshops, mentoring & discovery sessions, focused on market discovery and preparations for expansion – Custom designed to meet the needs of each individual company

This sprint helps startups and SMEs to understand the market specifics in the UAE and how to operate there. More broadly, companies will be briefed on expansion methodologies and experiment sprints, ensuring they are well placed to take advantage of any opportunity identified.

UAE Customer Development Sprint Readiness

A 4-week customer development sprint based on our proven venture expansion methodology

The sprint focuses on speaking to customers and potential partners in the UAE in order to validate the desirability of a company’s solution within the UAE market and identify potential partners within the ecosystem. This phase enables participating companies to de-risk expansion before committing significant human and financial resources.

Phase 2

Go To Market

4 Weeks Remote, 4 Weeks in UAE

This phase will be delivered on a 1:1 basis. It focuses on designing pilot experiments, minimum viable concepts, and PoCs with customers and commercial collaborators in the UAE, as well as building connections with the the UAE investor community.

Market Validation Sprint (remote)

4-week remote validation sprint

This sprint focuses on securing commitments from target customers, commercial collaborators and investors in the UAE to engage with you while you are in the UAE. Target engagements include PoCs, pilot experiments, sales and investment pitches, and the development of minimum viable concepts tailored to the UAE market.

Market Validation Sprint (in the UAE)

Customised 4-week expansion validation sprint in Abu Dhabi / Dubai

This intense 4-week period is dedicated to designing and executing PoCs, pilots, MVCs and both commercial and investment pitches. You will be supported by Rainmaking’s Abu Dhabi / Dubai-based Partnerships Lead who will provide access to a deep local network to help your business rapidly expand.

Program Timeline

The program runs on an always-on basis*. We will be accepting companies into the program every month, allowing for flexible and dynamic approaches to the UAE market, which is inline with both your company plans and with the opportunities discovered in-market.

*Please note that this timeline is indicative and will be customised to your exact needs

Selection Process

We have a rolling selection process, which means slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. If your application passes the initial stage, you’ll be invited to an online call for a final review. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the program, and for us to better understand how we might support your expansion goals.


On average, our programs attract 100+ applications. We have a rolling selection process, which means spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you are interested to join, please register your interest below.


If your application passes the initial stages, you’ll be invited to an online call for final review. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the program, and for us to better understand how we might support your expansion goals.

Phase 1

If you’re one of the companies selected for Phase 1, you’ll participate in an 8-week online sprint of workshops, mentoring & discovery sessions, focused on market discovery, customer development and preparations for expansion.

Phase 2

In Phase 2, you’ll participate in a second 8-week sprint, culminating in four weeks dedicated to designing and executing PoCs, pilots, MVCs, and commercial & investment pitches with target partners on the ground in Abu Dhabi / Dubai.

Why United Arab Emirates?

Stepping Stone into MENA

The UAE leads the MENA region with their innovation policies and active commitment to developing the market. Currently around 50% of investment and activity in the MENA region takes place in the UAE. Startups entering here will be able to access the entire MENA market.

Ease of doing Business

The UAE ranks 16th globally, and 1st in the MENA region for ease of doing business, thanks to their open, transparent regulatory framework. The nation places high value on partnerships, and connecting with the broad networks within the country allows companies to do business with ease in both the public and private sectors.

Focus on a Variety of Industries

There are multiple projects within the region driving development and growth in different industry sectors in order to diversify the business portfolio of the country. These include, but are not limited to, AgTech, FinTech, HealthTech, ICT, Education, Sustainability, eCommerce and Supply Chain.

Dynamic and growing Startup & SME Community

The UAE has spent a lot of time and effort to develop their Startup and SME Communities. These communities provide support and a variety of incentives to enable companies to enter and grow smoothly.

Attractive Policies for Foreign Companies

The UAE has a variety of different legislations to support and smoothen the process for companies to enter the market. This includes allowing 100% foreign ownership for multiple economic activities in specialised sectors, providing a tax-free system and clear governing laws in English.

Leader for VC funding in the MENA region

Investors from the MENA region and have poured $4.2B into the scaleup economy so far, with the majority of the funding happening in the UAE. Funding in the UAE reached a value of $579M in 2020 through 129 deals.

Costs Supported by Enterprise Singapore

Rainmaking Expand: United Arab Emirates is a program supported by Enterprise Singapore as official partner for the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA).

Singapore-based legal entities can benefit from financial support to take part in the program. If selected for the program, the majority of participation costs will be subsidised by Enterprise Singapore for Singapore-based legal entities. A small, remaining participation fee will be paid by participating companies.

8-weeks remote

You will:
Work with us to develop your
expansion strategy and roadmap

Receive end-to-end, dedicated & customised support from our UAE team, industry experts & advisor network

Conduct exploratory conversations with
potential customers and collaborators

8-weeks, 4-weeks remote + 4-weeks in the UAE*

You will:
Work with us to execute
your entry strategy

Open focused business conversations with potential customers and collaborators in the UAE
Concentrate on securing new customers and pilot opportunities with commercial collaborators

*subject to prevailing conditions & travel restrictions. Travel costs (flights, accommodation, etc) are not included.

S$ 8,736 per Company

After Enterprise Singapore’s subsidy

Powered By

Rainmaking is one the world’s most prolific corporate innovation and new venture building studios. We are a global team of over 200 that creates, accelerates, and scales new businesses with the world’s leading corporations and entrepreneurs across 13 offices on 4 continents.

Since 2010, we have run our accelerator programs under the Startupbootcamp (SBC) brand. We are now a global family of 20+ accelerator programs running +90 cycles in partnership with 200+ industry partners across various sectors.

Rainmaking Expand: United Arab Emirates has been launched with the support of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), as one of the programs under the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA). GIA is a joint initiative between ESG and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) which aims to connect Singaporean startups & SMEs to major innovation hubs around the world, so as to support their overseas expansion plans.

Apply Now

Applications to this program are open on a rolling basis. If you are interested in joining this program, please apply using the form below.

If you are having trouble viewing the form, please access it here.

Find out how partnering with us can help you achieve tangible business results.