In line with UAE Vision 2021, the telco enables young Emirati entrepreneurs to realise their dreams and contribute to a knowledge-based economy
Dubai: du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, today launched its first Emirati Startup Challenge, in partnership with Zayed University. The nationwide challenge will give Emirati university students who have a creative drive the opportunity to showcase their ideas in front of a live audience and a judging panel in a competition to win prizes and a chance to work with a local business mentor.
In celebration of the Year of Zayed, this initiative is co-organised by E11 Global, a global start up platform that provides entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to successfully develop their own businesses, and Step Group, a Dubai based media and events company responsible for launching STEP Conference in the UAE.
“We have always expressed our trust in the immense potential of the UAE youth. Now, and in alignment with the UAE Vision 2021 that directs the transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, we are delighted to launch this initiative. We look forward to meeting candidates who foster creative ideas and are interested in being a part of the local startup ecosystem.” said Abdulwahed Juma, the Executive Vice President of Brand and Corporate Communications in du. “Through this university-driven initiative, we want to encourage and inspire UAE Nationals to pursue and develop their business ideas by being bold and well prepared to pursue their dreams,” he added.
The Emirati Startup challenge is a nationwide competition that aims to empower Emirati youth with an entrepreneurial drive and prepare them to successfully contribute to the UAE’s startup ecosystem. The competition is open to Emirati students from universities across the UAE, who have an innovative startup idea in the fields of technology, social entrepreneurship and digital solutions.
Dr. Reyadh Almehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, said, “We, at Zayed University, are delighted to be part of this unique initiative. We are working on empowering the new generation and encourage Emirati students to submit their creative ideas and innovations to participate in beneficial workshops and the competition challenge, to develop solutions and disrupt the ecosystem with fresh ideas. We invite students to apply to the Emirati Startup Challenge from du and take advantage of the compelling opportunity to be mentored by top professionals and experts in the field.”
As the UAE 2021 vision endeavors to set up an entrepreneurial culture in schools and universities, du will work closely with Zayed University to inspire generations to adopt a skillset that includes leadership, creativity, responsibility and ambition. Through engaging workshops, du aims at equipping Emirati Nationals who qualify to enter the challenge with the necessary expertise and market knowledge that will empower them to turn their ideas into real business ventures.
This initiative is also designed to unlock the potential of nationals and enable them to be a driving force of the UAE’s development.
du is a vibrant and multiple award-winning telecommunications service provider serving 9 million individual customers with its mobile, fixed line, broadband internet, and Home services over its 4G LTE network. du also caters to over 100,000 UAE businesses with its vast range of ICT and managed services. Since its launch in 2007, du has many UAE firsts to its credit, including introduction of Pay by the Second® billing system, IPTV and self-service portal. du is ideally placed to support the realisation of UAE Vision 2021 and transformation of Dubai into a Smart City. du is also the official strategic partner of the Smart Dubai Office and the platform provider for Smart Dubai. Following the successful testing of the Middle East’s first Internet of Things (IoT) network, du is on course to complete deployment of its IoT network in 2016.Brand Finance ranked du as the 12th most valuable brand in the Middle East in 2016. du previously won the coveted Brand of the year title by Superbrands Middle East in 2013. The company has been recognised with several other awards such as ISO 27001 certification of Managed Security Services and having the distinction of opening UAE’s first LEED Platinum Certified Green Shop. du also has the unique distinction of the first telecom in the world to release Sustainability Report based on GRI-G4 guidelines in 2014. du is also credited with du’s world-class teleport is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and ranked among the top teleports in the world by World Teleport Association. du is 39.5 percent owned by Emirates Investment Authority, 19.75 percent by Mubadala Development Company PJSC, 19.5 percent by Emirates Communications and Technology LLC and the remaining by public shareholders. Listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the company trades under the name ‘du’.
About Zayed University:
Zayed University is a national and regional leader in educational innovation. Founded in 1998 and proudly bearing the name of the Founder of the Nation – the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this flagship institution has met the President’s high expectations. Today, Zayed University has two modern campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that welcome both national and international students.
From its first years of establishment, Zayed University has been fully committed to providing students with high quality education that keeps pace with international best practices. Today, the University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs responding to some of the largest segments of the job market and a unique educational experience that develop students’ competencies and refine their skills and knowledge.
About E11 Global:
E11 Global is a startup platform that invests in early stage Tech startups and creates global market-place for its portfolio companies through its network of partners. E11 invests in innovations that propel emerging economies into the technology age, by solving their greatest societal challenge.