A new mobile network emergency airtime provider was awarded AED 37,000 and named best start-up in a competition at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2013.
Comzafrica, which provides emergency airtime to travelers and residents when they need mobile credit, was one of five innovative early-stage media start-ups competed for venture capital support during a live event at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
The Orange-Oasis start-up competition – hosted by Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, in partnership with Oasis 500, a development and investment company that supports MENA-based start-ups – took place on October 24 as the thrilling finale to the three-day Summit.
A select group of fledging media companies from the region were each given five minutes to deliver their business pitch. Categories included ICT, Digital Media and Mobile. The expert panel of judges consisted of Jacky Abitbol, VP Corporate Development, Orange; Tamer Ahmed, Orange Cairo, iLab; Nathalie Boulanger, Orange Start-up Ecosystem Director; Ahmed El Alfi, Founder and Chairman, Sawari Ventures; Yousef Hamidaddin, Chief Executive Officer, Oasis 500; Gilles Lapierre, SVP Investment, Du; and Sherif Safwat, Executive Director, 21stCentury Digital Arabia.
The finalists were Comzafrica, Zaytouneh, Madfoo3at, Wixel Studios and dSquare. The competition, similar in style to the hit TV-show Dragon’s Den, provided a golden opportunity for young media entrepreneurs to get a head start in the industry.
The panel of judges analyzed the pitches across several criteria, including the company’s products or solutions and the extent of its client base. Start-ups were also judged on creativity; business plan execution and quality of the live pitch. The impact the start –up would have local society or the environment also played a critical role in determining the winner.
The Summit featured a combination of high-profile public sessions, closed-door discussions and private conversations. Sessions focused amongst others on the state of the digital planet; the explosion of social gaming; people’s television viewing experiences and habits; and the growth rate of smartphones.