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M12, the high-profile venture capital arm of software giant Microsoft Corp. earlier last week hosted an innovation summit in Dubai. Dubbed the M12 Innovation Summit, the event was held under the theme of “Leveraging Data and AI.”

As you can guess from the theme itself, the Summit primarily focused on connecting customers with emerging businesses in the realms of data and artificial intelligence. M12 is optimistic that the event will add to its ongoing efforts to support economic growth and the spirit of entrepreneurship throughout the Emirates.

M12 Innovation Summit is a part of the venture fund’s value-added services for its portfolio companies. It is basically s a platform that enables M12 portfolio companies to pitch and demonstrate their innovations to some of the largest enterprises across the world. In other words, the Summit is the place where these budding businesses can woo the right crowd and potentially attract investments, business partners, and other benefits.

The two-day event was hosted at the Dubai Future Foundation’s Area 2071. Speaking of the Foundation’s efforts to further uplift Dubai’s thriving startup ecosystem, HE Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Strategic partnerships and collaborations with leading global companies such as Microsoft is a testament to the Foundation’s efforts in attracting global talents and practices that create an environment which encourages and welcomes innovation and creative thinkers to further position Dubai as a hub for innovation and a testbed for emerging technologies.”

The Summit saw Microsoft’s government and enterprise customers from across the Middle East flocking to Area 2071 to interact with the innovative startups under M12’s wings. The venture fund also facilitated one-on-one meetings between the participating startups and their prospective customers.