∙ In partnership with Community Jameel and a collaboration of this year’s strategic partners Riyada, Omantel, and ZAIN Group as a digital partner
∙ Money prizes exceed 160,000 USD in cash; Final Award ceremony held in Oman, April 19, 2018
Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon – April 19, 2018: The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab Region announced the winners of the 11th edition of the Arab Startup Competition, an annual competition designed to support and celebrate innovation in the Arab world by awarding entrepreneurs and providing them with an avenue to exhibit and apply their ideas.
The final award ceremony, in partnership with Community Jameel, and in collaboration with this year’s strategic partners Riyada, Omantel, and Zain Group as a digital partner, was held in Oman on April 19, announcing nine winning teams. Community Jameel, a social enterprise organization that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability, has been a founding partner for 12 consecutive years.
The winning teams were announced at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 2, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman during a ceremony that attracted more than 400 investors, business entrepreneurs, media representatives and renowned public figures, such as Ahmad Al Alfi of Sawari Ventures, David Fernandez of Startup Chile, Said Al Shanfari of Omantel, Abdel Aziz Alloughani of Faith Capital Holding, and Abeer Abdullah of Riyada.
Winner: Quirkpod, Egypt, an online platform that develops students’ 21st century skills through expert-developed content and an engaging UX.
1st Runner up: Spike, Lebanon, helps make diabetes management less diabetic via software and hardware innovations.
2nd Runner up: Smart Data Logger, Jordan, uses IoT and roaming cellular connection to allow real-time monitoring of the temperature of a shipment.
Social Entrepreneurship Track:
Winner: Al Khudairi for biogas technology, Egypt, converts the waste and soil-damaging chemical fertilizers into energy. The solution also allows the production of biomethane gas, an alternative to fill gas cylinders.
1st Runner up: Fabric Aid, Lebanon, implements a successful European model that gives incentives to NGOs to collect more clothing without worrying about expenses and distribution.
2nd Runner up: Sunbox, Palestine, introduces an affordable off-grid, self-installable small solar kit for families who suffer from electricity shortage.
Winner: ProvenMed International, Tunisia, introduces a solution with options for restoring normal social life for patients suffering from Urine Incontinence.
1st Runner up: WideBot, Egypt, offer their platform to businesses to build their chatbots.
1st Runner up: Plotos, UAE, connect users to handpicked healthy yet trendy food from favorite restaurants through an innovative user-friendly platform created and endorsed by nutrition experts.
1st Runner up: Solar Foods, Sudan, a pioneer eco-friendly company in the field of food processing.
The ceremony was broadcasted live on Facebook and a replay can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/2K0uNZB
During the ceremony, Hala Fadel, Chair of the Board of MITEF Pan Arab said: "We are so proud that this year's biggest Arab startup event is being held in Oman. This event is not only a competition, but an opportunity for top tier Arab entrepreneurs to present and share their experiences in the area of innovation and the creation and nurturing of an ecosystem for innovation within Oman. Investing in Arab entrepreneurship will, in turn, contribute to the revitalization of the economy, and lead to the creation of new partnerships that can eventually transform into large institutions."
Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, commented saying: "At Community Jameel, we are honoured to serve entrepreneurs across the region and have been delighted that our efforts have been so well received. The major success of the MITEF Pan Arab competition has been our record of translating ideas into successful businesses, and innovative concepts into stories of success. Since launching in 2006, we have provided financial support totalling almost $970,000 to over 430 technology and knowledge-based start-ups. More than 2,300 young and ambitious entrepreneurs have received high-level training by regional and world experts creating at least 2,600 new job opportunities."
The final event ceremony included a panel discussion entitled "Building Emerging Ecosystems" led by Hala Fadel, Founding Member and Chair of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, with David Fernanédz, Business intelligence at Startup Chile and Ahmed Al Alfi, Founder and Chairman at Sawari Ventures, as speakers. Another panel discussion, themed "What Silicon Valley investors want to see in MENA," was moderated by Sharifa AlBarami, Managing Director at Oman Technology Fund, with Sharif El-Badawi, Partner at 500 Startups and Tarek Fahim, Managing Partner at Endure Capital, as speakers.
Prior to the final award ceremony, the 80 semi-finalists underwent a round of training sessions and presented their work to a jury that brought together a number of key investors and business people.
Click here for information about the Arab Startup Competition 11th edition.
About MITEF Pan Arab: Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region (www.mitefarab.org) 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 MITEF Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.
About Community Jameel: Community Jameel is a social enterprise organisation that helps communities transform themselves through a wide range of initiatives. It works to create job opportunities, tackle unemployment, promote arts and culture in the Middle East and around the world, enable research for poverty alleviation and food and water security, and provide education and training opportunities. Community Jameel was formally established in 2003 to continue the Jameel family's tradition of supporting the community, a tradition started in the 1940s by the late Abdul Latif Jameel, founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel business, who throughout his life helped tens of thousands of disadvantaged people improve their lives. For more information on Community Jameel, please visit: www.cjameel.org
About Riyada: The Public Authority for Small & Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada) is the Sultanate of Oman's arm for the development of small and medium enterprises and the strengthening of their contribution to the local economy through a wide range of business advisory services and training programs. Riyada was established as the Public Authority for Small & Medium Enterprises Development as per Royal Decree No. 36/2013, whereby it enjoys financial and administrative autonomy and is headquartered in the Muscat Governorate with the right to establish branches in other governorates according to a resolution from its board of directors.
About Omantel: Investing in the future of the nation, Omantel connects even the most remote communities of the Sultanate to each other and the rest of the world. Omantel is the Sultanate’s first integrated telecommunications services provider, enabling the digital society to flourish, allowing new ways of doing business and delivering a world of information, news and entertainment. Today, Omantel boldly innovates to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction, the broadest and most reliable nationwide network while investing for Oman’s future development. Learn more at www.omantel.om.
About Zain Group: Zain is a leading communications operator across the Middle East and North Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 46.6 million active customers as of 31 December 2017. With a commercial presence in 8 countries, Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the company manages 'touch' on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in Wana Telecom, now branded 'INWI', through a joint venture. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (stock ticker: ZAIN).