Three UAE-based start-ups have won the UAE Final of the Entrepreneurship World Cup. Organised by Startupscale360 FZCO in partnership with in5 – an enabling platform by TECOM Group for start-ups in tech, design and media – the national finals saw Tripp, a community-based travel planner and rewards app, AHAD, cybersecurity, digital transformation, and risk management services and solutions startup, and Desert Control, a climate-smart Agri-tech start-up, take home the grand prize.
The three start-ups won the category of Idea, Early and Growth stage. Tripp, AHAD and Desert Control emerged victorious from a pool of 183 applicants. in5, which has incubated more than 500 start-ups in tech, media, and design including Desert Control, partnered with Startupscalee360 for the Entrepreneurship World Cup to amplify UAE’s start-up ecosystem and facilitate access to investment opportunities.
As a Global Finalist, Tripp, AHAD and Desert Control will compete for a share of USD 1 million in cash prizes. The top 100 Global Finalists will receive $100,000 worth of in-kind services and support from service providers such as AWS, Freshworks, Oracle, Hubspot, Stripe and Segment. Global finalists also gain automatic entry into the GEN Starters Club, an invitation-only community of talented founders from around the world. Global Finalists will face off against one another in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March 2023.
Saeed Alnofeli, Director of Operations at in5, during the UAE Final event greeted the distinguished visitors and emphasised in5’s role in fostering the diverse and dynamic start-up platform including cost-effective business incubation, advisory and mentorship. H.E. Dr. Aman Puri, Consulate General of India to Dubai and Northern Emirates, also gave an inspirational speech about the role of entrepreneurs in building the economy and creating jobs for the nation.
Commenting on the competition on behalf of in5, Majed Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City at TECOM Group PJSC, said: “Dubai is home to a diverse pool of entrepreneurial talent who are innovating key industries and strengthening our economic position on a global scale. At in5, we strive to provide a community for these brilliant individuals to thrive in, where they can gain invaluable insights from mentors and advisors and build their ambitions into sustainably growing businesses. One of our key goals is facilitating access to investment so start-ups can expand their activity and leave greater impact. Partnering with Entrepreneurship World Cup gives us the chance to highlight the breadth of promising start-ups in our city and region, and giving the most exceptional ones a global stage for their innovative ideas.”
Swethal Kumar, Startupscale360 FZCO’s CEO and Managing Partner, said: “The UAE Final of EWC came to an end after 5 months of intense preparation, coordination, screening, assessment, and multiple judging rounds. The total of 47 Judges and 10 committee members involved in selecting the top 3 finalists.”
At the event, Swethal Kumar reflected on the competition’s incredible journey so far and extended his gratitude to the many individuals who had a hand in making it possible, as well as the industry leaders who had provided guidance along the way and the generous sponsors who had ensured the competition’s success.
He added: “The UAE Final in in5 has seen an active participation of judges, speakers, founders, and key enablers of the regional start-up ecosystem.”
The EWC National Finals were organised by Startupscale360 FZCO in partnership with in5, the flagship sponsor and Ecosystem Partner, Al Dafrah TV, a broadcast and media partner, Kapturise, a photographic and media partner, and Meraki Global Energy, a sponsor. The two panel sessions were sponsored by Tapiwa Senah, Koinonos Capital and Service My Car, Dubai.
EWC is an initiative globally sponsored by Misk Foundation, and led by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Monsha’at, with support from a collection of national and global partners including One Valley, The Global Education and Leadership Foundation (TGELF), Entrepreneurs’ Organization, KAUST and Startup Genome.
Since its inception in 2019, Entrepreneurship World Cup has given away opportunities for entrepreneurs at all stages of development — from the idea stage to scale-up — to advance to the next stage of their journey. The competition has since drawn 400,000 registrations from 200 countries and provided entrepreneurs with over US$3 million in cash prizes and an additional US$256 million in benefits, free assistance, and services.