SANDBOX - Startup program by DTEC

Launch your future

SANDBOX is a founder-focused startup program helping early-stage technology entrepreneurs grow their ventures. We’ve torn up the playbook. This landmark 12-month program hosted by Dtec puts founders at the core from day one.

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At Sandbox,
You'll get

200+ hours of practical workshops, a-la-carte

100+ hours of 1:1 mentoring with expert practitioners

12 months of coworking space for you and your team (up to 4 people)

Exposure to VCs and Angels across MENA

$950,000+ of in-kind credits from our partners

Financial diagnostics to best position you for funding

Tailored legal diagnostics and support

A like-minded community of highly ambitious founders

Regular pitch deck reviews and workshops

Heavily subsidised business setup costs to reduce your burden

Access to renowned guest speakers who have walked-the-walk

Local exposure at startup events

What differentiates sandbox?

At SANDBOX we believe in the value of practical support. As such, our 12-month program is highly execution based emphasising KPIs, sprints and tangible deliverables. We source the best mentors and practitioners not only to share advice, but to help you tangibly execute on your business.

SANDBOX is about you: our founders. Everything is designed to help you scale and ultimately raise funds. The program is uniquely structured around 6 pillars: Product Development, Traction, Scaling, Financial diagnostics, Legal support, and notably, Wellness+. We're the first startup program in the region to lay emphasis on wellbeing and performance. We even offer a rolling application process.

Rolling application

A startup program unlike any other

SANDBOX is the landmark program from Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) - the largest tech hub in MENA. It is the product of years of work. We have listened to founders and VCs alike. At Dtec, we recognize the importance of bridging the gap particularly when it comes to early-stage startup support.

Each of the 6 pillars is strategically designed to foster your success, delivered through a curriculum of workshops and mentoring sessions. The best part? You get to pick and choose which resources you need, when you need them.

Rolling application



SANDBOX is uniquely structured around 6 pillars, to accelerate your learning

Product development

Building a product is one thing, building a scalable product is another.

Expect workshops covering:
- Architecture of scalable solutions
- UI/UX Design trends
- AI/ML : how to build the dataset and train the ML
- Testing Automation
- Product release and updates
- Data Analytics: how to, use cases, failures

...and much more!



From optimising sales funnel conversion to enhancing web traffic, hit the ground running.

Expect workshops covering:
- Automating Sales Funnels
- Optimizing SEO,SEM and paid- Social
- Growth hacking tools and techniques
- Creating inbound & outbound lead engines
- Plan, Hire and Manage a Sales Team

...and much more!



Grow your client base from 10-to-100-to-1000+, whilst becoming "investor ready"

Expect workshops covering:
- The Art Of Virality
- Automation business processes
- Smart hiring & scaling your team
- Storytelling and how to pitch to VCs
- How to build a winning pitch deck
- How to negotiate a term sheet

...and much more!


Financial diagnostics

Deep dive diagnostics to help you best prepare for your funding rounds.

Expect workshops covering:
- Audits – Impact on attracting investors
- Managing and improving cash – cash conversion cycle
- Raising Funds - what do the investors
- Board meeting financial pack what to expect
- Preparing for a financial Due Diligence

...and much more!



Being a founder is incredibly stressful. SANDBOX prioritizes the mental health of you and your team.

Expect workshops covering:
- Healthy Habit-Building For Startup Founders
- Managing Anxiety & Building Resilience
- Balancing Work & Life
- Leveraging Lifestyle Fitness
- Managing Your Personal Finances

...and much more!


Legal Support

$3000 worth of legal support, plus 1:1s and workshops from startup lawyers.

Expect workshops covering:
- How & where to set up your holding company
- Protecting your Intellectual Property
- Understanding the terms of in a Convertible Note
- Equity vs. Convertible
- How to prepare for a legal Due Diligence

...and much more!

Rolling application

Partners that
cover all your bases

It’s no secret that founders need help. From software credits to bespoke advice, we’ve partnered with some of the best-in-class so that you can hit the ground running, fast. Click on each partner's logo to reveal the perks, totaling $950,000+.

Rolling application

The startups currently enrolled in SANDBOX

The team behind SANDBOX


We’re not just MENA's largest tech hub. We’re also the most transparent.

With 40+ FAQs, we’ve left no stone unturned. Of course, if there’s anything else you’d like to know, get in touch via contact us form below.

Our 5 most common FAQs

When is the next cohort?

We do not have cohorts; we accept applications on a rolling basis.

When is the next starting date?

The next starting date will be early January – we will announce the precise date shortly.

Where is the program located? Is it online or onsite?

The program is located in Dtec, Dubai. The workshops, networking & community events, VC meetings are all happening onsite. The 1-1s can be arranged at your convenience with our experts, either online or in Dtec.

What is the selection process?

Step 1 - Submit your application form via the "Apply Now" button below
Step 2 - If shortlisted, you will be invited for a call with the Dtec Ventures team
Step 3 - If you make it to the final stage, you will be invited to pitch to our SANDBOX selection committee in-person

Do you take equity in my company?

Upon joining Sandbox you will sign an Equity Warrant with Dtec Ventures that grants Dtec a right to invest in your company in the future. In summary, Dtec will have the right to invest $50,000 and take a 2.5% stake in your company during either your Seed or Series-A round.

In addition, the investment team will monitor your progress and potentially participate to your next funding round(s). We traditionally invest between $100K and $500K at Seed/Series-A.

Contact us

Want to learn more about SANDBOX? Check out our extensive list of FAQs. Your question has most likely been covered there. If not, however, feel free to get in touch and a member of the Dtec Ventures team will reach out to you