- Three Egyptian teams scoop the top prizes; Lebanon, Jordan and UAE teams share secondary prizes that total $160,000
- 74 semi-finalists from 11 Arab countries competed in finals
- At the heart of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 2030 vision is supporting young talent and celebrating entrepreneurship
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, KUWAIT and BEIRUT: PRNewswire: All eyes were on Bahrain as the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) for the Pan Arab Region announced the deserving winners of the 10th MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition in a final award ceremony held at the Kingdom of Bahrain’s International Circuit on the 27th of April. The ceremony welcomed public figures, investors, media personnel and business entrepreneurs from across the globe.
This year’s competition was organized in partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organization that operates a wide range of initiatives which promote and contribute towards positive societal change and economic sustainability; Zain Group, a leading telecommunications innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa; and Tamkeen, an organization tasked with developing Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driver of economic development.
Prior to the final award ceremony, the 74 semi-finalists from 11 Arab countries underwent a round of training and presented their work over a three-day period from April 25th to the 27th to a jury that brought together some of the Arab world’s key investors and business people.
The winners selected by the jury from three tracks: Startups, Social Entrepreneurship and Ideas are:
Winner: Blink App (Egypt) – $15,000
1st Runner up: SpicaTech Academy (Lebanon) – $10,000
2nd Runner up: Nano Green Hub (Egypt) – $5,000
Social Entrepreneurship Track:
Winner: Kiliim (Egypt) – $50,000
1st Runner Up: Mind Rockets (Jordan) – $10,000
2nd Runner up: Carpolo (Lebanon) – $5,000
Winner: Money Fellows (Egypt) – $50,000
1st Runner up: Trukker (UAE) – $10,000
2nd Runner up: Riego (Lebanon) – $5,000
Aside from the monetary rewards, the talented winners will also benefit from advanced training sessions, personal mentorship and guidance, as well as receiving a great deal of media coverage and excellent networking opportunities.
During the ceremony, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said, “It is time to invest more in the infrastructure that helps young people to hone and develop their entrepreneurial ideas, stressing the importance of utilizing technological innovation towards the modernization and development of tools that enable entrepreneurs to create technological solutions. This will in turn contribute to the revitalization of the economy and encourage the inauguration of partnerships that can eventually transform into large institutions that will house impeccable talent and capacities with opportunities to grow and develop.”
Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “We believe that investing in entrepreneurs and promoting the development of a strong ecosystem, alongside our partners, contributes to developing a stronger economy and providing opportunity through access of resources. Our collaborations allow us to provide critical support that entrepreneurs need to overcome challenges and succeed in today’s market. Our involvement with MITEF Pan Arab has been an honour, and we remain committed to helping the next generation of young entrepreneurs achieve their aspirations.”
Zain Group CEO-Operations, Scott Gegenheimer said, “As a leading innovative technology company, we are acutely aware of the positive impact innovation can have on improving the quality of life of people everywhere. Identifying and advancing entrepreneurship and the generation of new ideas as early as possible is key to bringing new concepts to commercial reality and is a big part of the reason we support the MITEF Arab Startup Competition.”
Gegenheimer added, “We believe the difference between companies and countries that will succeed into the long term, and those that underperform will be their access to and use of technology. Nurturing a culture of innovation is a fundamental requirement for sustainable growth and we extend whole-hearted congratulations to the semi-finalists and winners of this year’s Competition. I’m confident that many of these teams will succeed in translating their ideas into successful projects.”
Dr. Nasser Qaedi, Planning and Business Development Executive Director in Tamkeen said, “Our support for the competition stems from our belief in its ability to inspire entrepreneurs to challenge themselves and present their ideas in a healthy competitive environment, leading them to further development and expansion. We are also so proud to gather the best entrepreneurs from the Arab region, for them to learn from each other and from the global ecosystem. We insist on technology and innovation as one of the main drivers going forward for entrepreneurship in the Arab region.”
This year’s edition, which is of special importance as it celebrated the competition’s 10th anniversary, registered years of success and excellence while serving generations of young Arabs and their creative entrepreneurial ideas. The competition has become a highly anticipated event that is associated with success. The Arab youth who have taken part over the years have been encouraged to innovate and take charge of their entrepreneurial ideas, receiving significant support and guidance throughout. The result, ten years later, is a renaissance of entrepreneurial initiatives, the proliferation of creative ideas and the adoption of those ideas by the public and private sectors in support of these exceptional young men and women in the Arab world. -Ends-
About MITEF Pan Arab:
Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.
About Zain Group:
Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 46.1 million active customers as of 31 March, 2017. With a commercial presence in 8 countries, Zain operates in: Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the Group manages ‘touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in ‘INWI’, through a joint venture. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (stock ticker: ZAIN).
About Community Jameel:
Established in 2003, Community Jameel is a social enterprise organisation that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability. From individual, community and Arab life as a whole, in Saudi Arabia and beyond, Community Jameel promotes Arab arts and culture in the Middle East and around the world, works against unemployment, enables research for poverty alleviation and food and water security, and provides education and training opportunities.
Community Jameel supports and partners with global institutions, which employ hundreds of people, all aiming to provide people with opportunities and training in the following areas:
Job Creation – Bab Rizq Jameel
Arts and Culture – Art Jameel
Global Poverty Alleviation
Food and Water Security
Education and Training
Health and Social
Tamkeen is tasked with developing Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driver of economic development. Established in August 2006, Tamkeen is one of the cornerstones of Bahrain’s national reform initiatives and Bahrain’s Economic Vision. Tamkeen has two primary objectives: Firstly, fostering the creation and development of enterprises, and secondly, providing support to enhance the productivity and growth of enterprises and individuals.
To achieve these objectives, Tamkeen’s strategy focuses on quality enhancement, customer care and having a results-oriented approach. Through this strategy, a number of innovative programmes are provided to Bahrainis and businesses in Bahrain, which include training, consulting, financing, entrepreneurship support and others. These programmes help develop the capabilities of Bahrainis and enterprises and integrate new critical concepts for a vibrant sustainable private sector. To date, Tamkeen’s programmes have benefited more than 130,000 Bahrainis and businesses.