You might have the greatest idea for an innovative product or a solution which holds the potential to disrupt an entire industry, but it takes a lot more than an ‘aha moment’ to bring it to the market. As you start developing your project, you will be faced with numerous hurdles along the way towards launching your startup.
One way to overcome some of the obstacles faced by early-stage entrepreneurs is to take part in startup competitions.
At first glance, startup competitions might seem a bit redundant, especially with the regional ecosystem becoming more mature with each passing day. However, from previous experiences, startup competitions have proven to be one of the most powerful experiences for startups, particularly in their early stages.
Startup competitions are usually correlated to monetary prizes which comprise a great motivator for entrepreneurs to participate in such events, and it is almost certain that no one leaves empty-handed (even those who don’t get to be in first place). In fact, there is much more to competitions than just the cash prize, like the possibility of networking with investors, getting the media’s attention, and establishing potential partnerships. Startup competitions get the wheel moving, for everyone.
The old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is true in the setting of a competition where entrepreneurs present their startups to judges in a real, competitive, and high-stakes environment. Though, it is not only the pitching which builds the entrepreneur’s confidence, it’s actually the feedback that they receive which helps them become more comfortable with public speaking and the idea of customizing their pitch depending on the audience.
Also, regional startup competitions create a great networking opportunity among stakeholders, developing a much needed platform for knowledge sharing across borders and societies. Lastly, startup competitions act as the last frontier for refining an entrepreneur’s idea, particularly as diverse perspectives and points of views reshape the business model, target audience, or marketing strategy.
Startup competitions are not only held for the sake of competing, but they also act as the hotbed for innovation and startup acceleration.
After receiving numerous applications from the pool of Arab Startup Competition alumni of the past 3 editions, we finally have the names of the 10 finalists who will officially be in line to compete in the ‘Hub71 MENA Growth Competition, powered by MITEF Pan Arab.’
The competition officially launched in July 2019 during a press conference held at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi, where the partners spoke to the media about the scope of the competition and its overarching purpose.
To be eligible for the competition, potential candidates had to be alumni from the past 3 editions of MITEF’s Arab Startup Competition, be ready to relocate/expand to Abu Dhabi, built a team of at least two members, operating for at least one year with a working product or service, secured funding, generated revenues, and developed an innovative technology product or service.
After pitching to the judges, 3 winning startups will be selected as the winners of the competition and will receive prizes such as:
- 100% subsidized housing, office space and medical insurance (collectively “subsidies”) for companies that have less than 5 employees and have raised around 300,000$ in rounds of funding (valid for 2 years)
- 50% subsidies for emerging companies that have less than 25 employees and have raised more than 500,000$ in funding (valid for 3 years)
- Relocation costs from home to Abu Dhabi for founder and employees
- Entry into accelerator programs via Techstars and Plug&Play ADGM
- Mentorship, coaching and a dedicated ‘resident success team’
- Application to the ‘Start-up Matched Funds’ via Ghadan Ventures Fund
The finalists of the Hub71 MENA Growth Competition powered by MITEF Pan Arab are: (the names are listed in no particular order):
- Addenda Technologies LTD (UAE): A frictionless motor insurance recovery interface using the blockchain. Clients are insurance companies, where the platform assists them resolve claims against other insurers in a ‘timelier’ manner. By using a common ledger, insurers minimize the manual checks needed to confirm the authenticity claims, thus settling them faster.
- Cherpa (Lebanon): Cherpa is an e-learning platform creating tech courses that equips youth with skills needed for future jobs. With help from industry experts in the best companies in the world, the platform provides real-world, gamified and educational courses in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, cybersecurity, smart cities, tech in space, etc.
- CyberTalents (Egypt): CyberTalents is a platform that ranks cybersecurity professionals across the globe by running capture the flag competitions in order to get hired by recruiters.
- Furnwish (Egypt): Furnwish is a tech company that helps furniture stores reduce their returns and refunds and design professionals in better showcasing their products and services using augmented reality technology and it helps first-time homeowners save their time and money by visualizing furniture pieces in their space beforehand.
- Mashvisor (Palestine): Mashvisor helps real estate investors quickly find traditional and Airbnb investment properties. A research process that usually takes 3 months can now be done in only 15 minutes. Mashvisor provides all the data points needed in an easy to understand visualizations.
- MoneyFellows (Egypt): MoneyFellows enables people to access credit and easily reach their saving goals while building up their credit score. This is done via digitizing the traditional ROSCA model which is also known as Game'ya in the region.
- ProvenMed Global (Tunisia): ProvenMed is an innovative medical device startup specialized in urinary incontinence solutions. Its flagship product ActivGoTM has been designed and developed through a patent-pending technology to deliver a comfortable and cost-effective urinary incontinence management wearable device that will transform the lives of patients to the better.
- Repzo (Jordan): Repzo is the first Arabic CRM in the region to track field employees such as sales executives, merchandisers, medical reps, inspectors, marketing officers & maintenance personnel. Repzo allows employees to enter all their geotagged activities, enabling managers to monitor them from any smartphone, tablet or laptop.
- Rumman (Lebanon): With the aim of bringing financial inclusion to all, Rumman built a personalized micro-savings and investment app that rounds up daily spending to the nearest dollar (or local equivalent), offering seamless saving solutions. This will open up the world of saving and investment to those traditionally unable to afford it.
- Takalam (Jordan): TakalamTech is a Jordanian startup that works and interests on finding solutions for hearing and speaking disorders using AI, IoT, and Software development in general. TakalamStutteringCure is Takalam’s first product which is a mobile application and a wearable device that reduces the stuttering in stutterers for more than 90%.
Congratulations to all the teams who have made it to the final round of judging!
On August 26-27, the finalists will be in Abu Dhabi to receive an intensive training course, provided by Astrolabs.
Register today to attend the demo day on August 28 at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi, where the finalists will pitch one more time to the judging panel consisting of VCs, industry experts, corporates, and technologists. The demo day will also feature a discussion panel titled ‘Harnessing the power of human capital: How startup hubs can attract and retain talent.’
For tickets and more info, please visit: https://hub71menagrowthdemoday.eventbrite.com/