MITEF launches 10th edition of ‘Arab Startup Competition’

A group photo of the winners of the 2016 MITEF Pan Arab competition final ceremony that was held in King Abdullah Economic City, KSA.
A group photo of the winners of the 2016 MITEF Pan Arab competition final ceremony that was held in King Abdullah Economic City, KSA.

BEIRUT/JEDDAH/KUWAIT CITY, Oct 16: The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) for the Pan Arab Region, in partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organisation that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability, and Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa, announces the launch of the tenth edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition.

Similar to the proceedings in previous years, this year’s competition includes three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship, with total prize money on offer totaling $160,000. Each of the three tracks will award the fi rst three ranked winners with cash prizes in addition to many other benefits including: top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities. The competition’s website www. opens for applications on Oct 17 with the deadline for receipt of applications being Jan 4, 2017. Informative roadshows promoting the competition are planned for Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and the UAE, and 79 semifinalist teams will be announced on Feb 10, 2017.

The semi-finalists will be invited to attend pre-bootcamp activities scheduled for February and March, 2017 in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The competition will culminate in a four-day event from April 24 to April 27, 2017, with the announcement of the competition winners set to take place during the fi nal award ceremony on April 27, 2017. Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab, said, “This year, we are celebrating 10 years of entrepreneurial success in the region by bringing together our biggest edition to date. For this 10th edition, we are expecting more and more technology innovations from the MENA region and we aim to take the most innovative entrepreneurs from the region to new heights.”

Commenting on Zain Group’s support of the latest MITEF Arab Startup Competition, CEO Scott Gegenheimer said, “We are excited to support the competition again this year, and congratulate the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab for the milestone 10th year of running this important regional event. For Zain, the reasons for continued involvement are simple — this competition supports young aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams and appeals to a number of our core constituents, aligning with our outlook and values perfectly.

Again we look forward to seeing the face of innovation being revealed throughout the course of the competition and shall take the opportunity to capitalize on the most promising ideas, supporting our evolution in becoming a digital lifestyle operator.” “This is the tenth consecutive year that Community Jameel has supported the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab,” said Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International. “The continuation of our support for this project underscores our commitment to helping the next generation of young entrepreneurs realise their hopes and aspirations.”

Stressing the importance of competitions like this and their growing popularity, Jameel also noted: “We have witnessed the tremendous success stories that MITEF Pan Arab has brought about in our region over the past nine years and anticipate even greater achievements for the upcoming tenth edition and in the future.” The 2015/2016 ninth edition of the competition that saw the fi nal ceremony held in Saudi Arabia, received an outstanding 5,033 individual and team applications (representing a record participation of over 12,000 entrepreneurs) from 21 Arab countries. For more information on this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition eligibility and judging criteria, as well as the planned roadshows, please visit www.mitefarab. org.

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