Connect with us

World

Majid Al Futtaim’s Launchpad X: Linking MENA Startups Globally

Published

on

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.

Community

Australia ‘outraged’ over aid worker killed in Gaza

Published

on

Australia ‘outraged’ over aid worker killed in Gaza

Worker Zomi Frankcom, an aid worker with the World Central Kitchen charity, has tragically lost her life in Gaza due to an Israeli air strike, sparking outrage and demands for transparency from Australia. Foreign Minister Penny Wong has called for a thorough inquiry into the incident, which also resulted in the deaths of six other charity workers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his desire to directly speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the death of Ms Frankcom. Netanyahu has acknowledged the incident as an unintended strike on innocent individuals, stating that such events unfortunately occur in the midst of conflict. He has promised a comprehensive investigation into the matter.

Amid escalating tensions between Australia and Israel, Senator Wong emphasized Australia’s strong stance on accountability for the death of humanitarian workers. She stressed the need for a transparent inquiry and full explanation, as well as accountability for those responsible.

Mr Albanese has labeled the deaths of the aid workers as “completely unacceptable,” emphasizing the tragedy of the situation. The Australian Palestine Advocacy Network has gone a step further, calling the deaths not just a tragedy but a crime, and urging the government to take decisive action against Israel.

Ms Frankcom’s family, friends, and colleagues have been left devastated by her untimely demise. Described as a kind and selfless individual, Ms Frankcom’s legacy of compassion and bravery in helping those in need is being mourned by those who knew her.

World Central Kitchen, the charity for which Ms Frankcom was working, has paused its operations in Gaza in the wake of the incident. Chief executive Erin Gore condemned the attack as unforgivable, highlighting the dangers faced by humanitarian organizations in conflict zones.

The Australian government remains firm in its demand for accountability and justice in the wake of this tragedy. While Israel has expressed regret for the incident, the international community, including Australia, is pushing for a transparent investigation and assurance that such events will not be repeated in the future.

Continue Reading

World

Russian Government Urges Australian Embassy to Remove Social Media Post

Published

on

Russian Government Urges Australian Embassy to Remove Social Media Post

Embassy officials from the Australian embassy in Moscow have been summoned by Russian authorities following a social media post that criticized the holding of Russian presidential elections in occupied parts of Ukraine. The Russian foreign ministry stated that the post, made on the Telegram platform, questioned Russia’s territorial integrity and contained false information about the voting process in various Russian regions during the presidential election on March 15-17.

Australia’s Chargé d’affaires was informed that the online post was considered as interference in Russia’s internal affairs. The Russian government demanded that the message be removed and that measures be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

The Australian embassy’s post on Telegram on March 19, in Russian language, highlighted Australia’s stance on the election conducted by Russia in Ukrainian territories. The post emphasized that these actions by Russia undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence. Australia rejected the outcome of the election and reiterated its call for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

The Russian presidential election, which saw President Vladimir Putin declared the winner with over 87% of the vote, took place in areas of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed, including Crimea and parts of four regions seized after its 2022 invasion.

The incident underscores the ongoing tensions between Russia and Western countries, including Australia, regarding the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued involvement in Ukrainian affairs have been met with strong opposition and condemnation from the international community.

Australian embassy officials have not yet responded publicly to the Russian government’s demands regarding the social media post. It remains to be seen how the Australian government will address the issue and whether the post will be removed as requested by Russian authorities.

As the diplomatic exchange continues between Russia and Australia, the situation highlights the importance of careful communication and diplomacy in addressing sensitive political issues. The tension over the Ukrainian territories and the implications of the Russian presidential election in those areas serve as a stark reminder of the complex challenges facing the international community today.

Continue Reading

World

What Happened When McDonald’s System Crashed Worldwide!

Published

on

What Happened When McDonald's System Crashed Worldwide

McDonald’s says a worldwide IT outage that hindered its servers from processing payments and resulted in restaurants closing across the country and elsewhere on Friday evening was not a cybersecurity violation.

The firm has also confirmed some of its food outlets’ systems are back up and running, and it is currently working to restore service to the rest of its restaurants as soon as possible.

The difficulty is being resolved, according to a McDonald’s spokesman.

“We thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“Notably, the issue is not related to a cybersecurity event.”

The outage primarily affected the company’s internal systems, with one McDonald’s employee telling the ABC that servers couldn’t see anything on their computer monitors.

It also affected the MyMacca’s app, with notifications being sent to global outage tracker Downdetector from around 4 p.m. AEDT.

McDonald’s employees put up signs telling customers they were unsure when the issues would be fixed.(Digital Daily News)

The technology meltdown affected the fast-food supply chain’s worldwide operations, with stores being closed in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Restaurants in Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, and Austria were also reportedly affected.

McDonald’s has around 1,000 restaurants in Australia, according to its website.

Continue Reading

Trending