Winners of the 11th edition of the Arab Startup Competition were announced last week at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 2, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in presence of more than 400 investors, business entrepreneurs, media representatives and renowned public figures.
The top 10 finalists were chosen out of 80 semi-finalists.Arab Startup Competition, an annual competition organised by The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab Region and is 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, was held in partnership with Community Jameel, and in collaboration with this year’s strategic partners Riyada, Omantel, and Zain Group as a digital partner.
The top 10 awardees this year included:
- Quirpod, Egypt, an online platform that develops students’ 21st century skills through expert-developed content and an engaging UX.
- Spike, Lebanon, helps make diabetes management less diabetic via software and hardware innovations.
- Smart Data Logger, Jordan, uses IoT and roaming cellular connection to allow real-time monitoring of the temperature of a shipment.
- 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.
- Fabric Aid, Lebanon, implements a successful European model that gives incentives to NGOs to collect more clothing without worrying about expenses and distribution.
- Sunbox, Palestine, introduces an affordable off-grid, self-installable small solar kit for families who suffer from electricity shortage.
- ProvenMed International, Tunisia, introduces a solution with options for restoring normal social life for patients suffering from Urine Incontinence.
- WideBot, Egypt, offer their platform to businesses to build their chatbots.
- 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.
- Solar Foods, Sudan, a pioneer eco-friendly company in the field of food processing.
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.”
The final event ceremony included a panel discussion entitled “Building Emerging Ecosystems” led by Hala Fadel, 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.
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. Speaking at the occasion, the President of Community Jameel International, Fady Mohammed Jameel said “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”.
Jameel added “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.”