My Next Adventure! Managing Director for Techstars Dubai

10/05/2017 | By Vijay Tirathrai

This post originally appeared on

Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a new challenge - fresh out of my role as CEO at the Entrepreneurs Organization, I’m joining Techstars as the managing director for the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO. Here are the reasons why I decided to uproot my life in Washington D.C. to move to Dubai for Techstars:

A Thirst for Learning

Being a serial entrepreneur myself, I have had my fair share of hits and misses. I’m learning from past experiences and constantly seeking knowledge in emerging industries, especially from budding entrepreneurs.

I want to master the art of investing; I want to learn how to identify top companies and top entrepreneurs. I’m confident that we will be able to build a portfolio of great companies that come through the Techstars Dubai Accelerator, but it’s not a task I can complete on my own. I acknowledge the need to the leverage the awesome collectiveness of my Techstars team, peers and mentors to succeed.

The world is rapidly changing before our eyes, fueled by unprecedented innovation and disruption across many sectors. Techstars will provide me the opportunity to broaden my horizons.

Dubai: The Center of Innovation

Techstars is excited to partner with GINCO because of their focus on driving innovation in the region to align with the UAE Centennial 2071 initiatives. GINCO is a full service general contracting firm, covering the full lifecycle of the construction process from concept to execution and supervision.

Dubai is known for their leadership in technology innovation, so GINCO is looking for pioneering entrepreneurs leading innovative companies that are solving challenges in transportation, construction, wellness, IoT, robotics, and beyond.

I am thrilled to be at the center of all this. I have lived intermittently in Dubai over the past 20 years and have family connections here. I have seen the unbelievable transformation from a small desert town to a global hub for trade, banking, tourism, aviation, ports and logistics, as well as the host to mega events like EXPO 2020.

#GiveFirst: Mentoring Entrepreneurs

Mentoring entrepreneurs is a self fulfilling prophecy. I have found that mentoring is a two-way street; the mentor and the mentee are both benefiting from the exchange. It keeps me real and true to my values.

Many managing directors and mentors will agree how satisfying it is to see founders learn and grow rapidly within the program and beyond. I get a kick out out it when I see the impact it has emotionally, psychologically and professionally.

I’m looking forward to living the Techstars #givefirst lifestyle everyday, and building and leading a group of ace mentors.

Techstars: It’s a Smart Move

I spent the past few weeks visiting the headquarters Techstars office in Boulder and programs in Paris and Berlin. I am so fortunate to have Ramzy Ismail, an experienced and a rock-solid Program Director, as my right hand man. I can't do it without him.

Everyone I have met has been exceptional in welcoming me and supporting my Techstars journey. I want to make a special mention of thanks to Greg Rogers and Jenny Lawton, who tip the scale for me moving forward.

I am delighted and honored to be part of the Techstars family and launch the Techstars Dubai Accelerator in partnership with GINCO. Applications close October 15, so be sure to apply!