Nine winners announced at the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition supported by Community Jameel and Zain
MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, in partnership with founding partner Community Jameel and Zain Group, announced the winners of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition from a total of 76 contesting teams from 15 Arab countries. The competition’s final award ceremony was held at the Bay La Sun Hotel & Marina in the King Abdullah Economic City on April 14, 2016. This year’s event was also supported by government partner the Economic Cities Authority and hosting partner the King Abdullah Economic City along with global technology provider Huawei.
The competition was preceded by the Time to Invest in Arab Youth and Their Innovations Conference, organized by MIT Technology Review Arab Edition. During the conference, MIT Technology Review Arab Edition’s five innovators under 35 in the Arab world were announced.
The ninth edition of this year’s competition received an outstanding 5,967 individual and team applications, compared to 4,275 last year, from 21 Arab countries and represented a record participation of over 16,500 entrepreneurs, compared to 12,000 last year. The nine winning teams across three tracks – Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship – hail from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
The US$50,000 top prize for the best start up track was awarded to Kuwait’s Ghinwa, who are building a mobile application that can be used to perform Karaoke with songs that are licensed from copyright owners to ensure legality, allowing users to share and promote their talent across different social media platforms.
Several high-profile entrepreneurs, investors and government officials from Saudi Arabia, the region and beyond shared insight during the conference and acted as the judges of the competition. The list includes HRH Saud K Al-Faisal, Executive Director for Investment Policy at SAGIA, HH Reema Bint Bandar, founder and CEO of Alf Khair, Fady Mohammed Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain Group, Hassan Kabbani, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia, Fahd Al Rasheed, Group CEO and Managing Director of Emaar Economic City and Wassim Khashoggi, Vice Secretary General Operations of the Economic Cities Authority. Speakers and judges from several leading organizations in the finance and technology space such as Google, Facebook, Oak Investment Partners, 500 Startups and MBC Group also shared insights during the event.
The announcement of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition ceremony took place during an evening award ceremony during which the winners took home prize money totaling US$150,000. Apart from the winner’s prize money, each of the Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship tracks semi-finalists benefitted from top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities throughout the competition.
Winner: Ghinwa from Kuwait – $50,000;
2nd place: Zamen from Egypt – $15,000;
3rd place: B8ak from Saudi Arabia – $10,000
Winner: Tutorama from Egypt – $15,000;
2nd place: Deep OR from Morocco – $10,000;
3rd place: Ostor Lab from Morocco- $5,000
Social Entrepreneurship Track:
Winner: Hydropneumatic Flushing System from Tunisia – $15,000;
2nd place: Pathfinder from Lebanon – $10,000;
3rd place: Low Cost PPC from Jordan – $5,000
5 Innovators under 35:
Ahmad Alfadhel – King Abdullah University for Science & Technology- Saudi Arabia
Eve Tamraz – White Labs-Lebanon
Jean Nehme – Touch Surgery -Lebanon
Osman Baker – King Abdullah University for Science & Technology-Saudi Arabia
Yaman Abou Jeib – Glean -Syria
About MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab: Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab 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 MIT Technology Review Arab Edition: MIT Technology Review Arab Edition is the regional edition of the MIT Technology Review, the world’s most established technology publication founded in 1899 and affiliated with the prestigious MIT University. Its mission is to equip its audience with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology. It provides an intelligent, lucid, and authoritative filter for the overwhelming flood of information about technology with serious journalism, written in clear, simple language, by a knowledgeable editorial staff, governed by a policy of accuracy and independence.
About Community Jameel: In 2003, Community Jameel was formally established as the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the world’s leading independent Toyota distributors. Today Community Jameel operates a considerable set of initiatives. From individual, community and Arab life as a whole in Saudi Arabia and beyond, Community Jameel has the welfare of its people at heart. By promoting Arab arts and culture in the Middle East and around the world, working against the unemployment, enabling research for poverty alleviation, and providing education and training opportunities, Community Jameel has successfully promoted positive social and economic sustainability.
About Zain Group: Zain is a leading telecommunications operator in the Middle East. Launching in 1983 in Kuwait as the region’s first mobile operator, Zain Group a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries with a workforce of over 7,000 providing a comprehensive range of mobile voice and data services to over 45.6 million active individual and business customers as of December 31, 2015.