Start-Up Nation Central works with Roland Berger on GCC expansion

24 January 2022 3 min. read

As Israeli-Gulf relations continue to strengthen, Roland Berger has partnered with Israeli tech ecosystem facilitator Start-Up Nation Central to promote business across the region.

Global management consulting firm Roland Berger will team up with networking organisation Start-Up Nation Central on a series of strategic initiatives aimed at promoting business ties between the Israeli tech sector and governments and private sector companies in the GCC. According to a recently signed agreement, the two parties will also carry out joint research and analysis, marketing, and promotional activities.

“At Roland Berger, we are deeply committed to entrepreneurship, which is one of our firm’s fundamental values,” said the German-origin firm’s global managing partner Stefan Schaible. “Therefore, we are excited to collaborate with Start-Up Nation Central, one of the most developed global start-up ecosystem facilitators.”

Start-Up Nation Central works with Roland Berger on GCC expansion

“As partners we will craft innovative and sustainable solutions for clients from the private and public sectors alike,” continued Schaible.

Founded as an independent not-for-profit organisation in 2013, the Tel Aviv-based Start-Up Nation Central serves as a platform to connect governments, businesses and NGOs from around the world with Israeli’s vibrant tech start-up community innovating in areas such digital health, agritech, cybersecurity and industrial internet of things. Last year, the Israeli tech sector raised over $25 billion, with its number of unicorns climbing above 50.

Now, Roland Berger and Start-Up Nation Central will collaborate to further drive innovation and cross-national cooperation in the Middle East, continuing steps already taken by the non-profit facilitator. A year ago, Start-Up Nation Central launched the UAE-IL Tech Zone, an exclusive platform aimed at fostering tech and investment collaborations between the nations, which is now evolving to become a GCC regional community.

The organisation also last year signed an agreement with the UAE Minister for Food and Water Security to establish a framework for addressing shared food and water security challenges. Under the terms of the agreement, Start-Up Nation Central will scout and map innovative Israeli solutions and the ministry will connect them with the relevant UAE companies and government initiatives that can benefit from the technologies.

“We aim to leverage the complementary characteristics of the UAE and Israeli tech industries to establish a robust Middle East innovation hub that will create an innovation powerhouse to address regional and global challenges,” said Jeremie Kletzkine, Start-Up Nation Central’s vice president of business development. “As the leading business strategy consulting firm in the GCC, Roland Berger is the best possible partner for this mission.”

The partners say that such collaboration follows on from and will help fulfil the promise of the Abraham Accords signed in 2020, which signalled the normalisation of relations and closer ties between Israel and the UAE and fellow gulf state Bahrain. Like Israel, the latter also has a thriving technology start-up scene, including through Bahrain FinTech Bay, of which Roland Berger became a founding partner upon the hub's launch in 2018.