It has been a really long time since last January 14th, but we made it!
For fourteen years in a row, we have been organizing one of MENA’s most impactful competitions in the startup ecosystem, where we have witnessed multiple success stories and the transformation of the regional digital scene. The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition continues to shed light on this region’s potential and empowers entrepreneurs through training, networking, mentorship, and monetary support.
The 14th edition of the Arab Startup Competition marks the first (of many more to come) completely virtual competition that we organize. To our surprise, the virtual competition attracted over 1000 complete submissions from around the world, including Arab expats, locals, and innovators who are truly changing the world one tiny bit at a time. And for that, we say thank you.
This year there was an obvious shift in the type of applications we received. For example, we noticed an increase in Edtech startups who are alleviating the inefficiencies in current online learning platforms. Also, we noticed that many innovators are working on telehealth solutions that would support healthcare providers in light of the ongoing global pandemic. Lastly, several of this year’s applications focused on sustainability and climate change.
Before we move forward, we thank our Main Partner Community Jameel and Strategic Digital Partner Zain Group for their ongoing trust to empower the region’s youth and create long-term impact through the Arab Startup Competition. Also, we’re thrilled to be joined by the teams at Microsoft for Startups ME, Oracle MENA, Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, and Roland Berger to put together a fully-virtual training bootcamp in the upcoming weeks. Lastly, we thank GrowIN Portugal for joining us as a Prize Partner.
You could check the list of this year’s prizes here.
For the first judging round, each application was reviewed by 2 expert judges, who evaluated based on the following criteria: team strength, innovation, financial sustainability, scalability, and social impact for the Social Entrepreneurship track. We found that this methodology provides a fair and thorough understanding of what each application is offering.
Here are the semifinalists of the 14th edition of MITEF Arab Startup Competition (according to track; listed in alphabetical order):
- Startups Track: Araboost (Palestine), Digital Energy (UAE), Kanari AI (USA), OptiStructure (UAE), RoboAds (UAE), RUSH & REEZ (Lebanon), Sindyan Educational Media (UAE), Speetra Design Studio (France), Synapse Analytics (Egypt), Tamarran (Bahrain), Toothpick (The Dental Eco-System) (Lebanon), Valify (Egypt)
- Ideas Track: 2ResQ (Palestine), BluePhin (UAE), CO-SOLAR (Tunisia), Crooz (UAE), Cure Bionics (Tunisia), FeeBack (Jordan), FlyFoot (Lebanon), FortyGuard Holding Ltd (UAE)., OCT Analysis (Lebanon), Tala (تالة) (Egypt), uMore (UAE), منصة جسور (Palestine)
- Social Entrepreneurship Track: Agrona (Egypt), AKYAS Sanitation (Jordan), Blue Filter (Palestine), Cup- Coffee Utilization Products (Egypt), Dayra (Egypt), ECOLOO AB (Sweden), Froz (Lebanon), IoTree Solutions (Lebanon), Shems For Lighting (Morocco), Wave (Lebanon), جرين فاشون (Egypt)
Congratulations to all the semifinalists, and we hope those who didn't make it this year will continue developing their ideas and startups. This is all part of the journey of starting up.
We would like to mention that our Technology Partners will also be offering in-kind services to the projects who are not among the semifinalist teams.
The next step for the semifinalists is participating in a training bootcamp which will provide them with technical hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge, which will definitely benefit them in scaling their projects.
The competition will culminate in a one-day virtual conference and award ceremony that will gather prominent action leaders, industry experts, researchers, investors, judges, and entrepreneurs on March 25, 2021.
Stay tuned for future updates and announcements: #ASC2021 #MITEFArab