9 Star­tups Shine at the MITEF Arab Startup Com­pe­ti­tion

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

The ninth Arab Startup Com­pe­ti­tion, or­ga­nized by MIT Eco­nomic Fo­rum (MITEF) Pan Arab, was the big­gest edi­tion of the event to date. The com­pe­ti­tion was sup­ported by Com­mu­nity Jameel and Zain, and re­ceived around 6,000 ap­pli­ca­tions from 21 Arab coun­tries (up from 4,275 in 2015). 30 fi­nal­ists were di­vided in to 3 categories be­fore pitch­ing their ideas to a panel of in­vestors and in­dus­try lead­ers at the King Ab­dul­lah Eco­nomic City on April 14, 2016. The win­ning teams hailed from Egypt, Jor­dan, Kuwait, Le­banon, Morocco, Saudi Ara­bia, and Tu­nisia, and were re­warded with cash prizes worth a to­tal of $150,000. The win­ner of the Star­tups Track ($50,000) was the Kuwaiti startup Ghinwa which de­vel­oped an app that di­rectly en­ables karaoke per­for­mances with li­censed songs. Sec­ond and third place went to Egypt’s Za­men news­feed fil­ter­ing app and Saudi Ara­bia’s B8ak mar­ket­place for home main­te­nance ser­vices, re­spec­tively. The win­ner of the So­cial En­trepreneur­ship Track was a Tu­nisian startup that in­vented a hy­drop­neu­matic flush­ing sys­tem ($15,000). Le­banon’s Pathfinder, an app and tech-fit­ted belt that en­ables vis­ually chal­lenged peo­ple to nav­i­gate in­doors and out­doors, earned sec­ond place, while the Jor­da­nian in­ven­tors of an af­ford­able pros­thetic leg that of­fers great mo­bil­ity came in third place . In the third and last cat­e­gory, the Idea Track, first place went to Egypt’s Tu­torama plat­form for pri­vate tu­tor­ing ser­vices ($15,000). Sec­ond and third place went to 2 Moroc­can star­tups: Deep OR, a data an­a­lyt­ics and op­er­a­tions re­search soft­ware, and Os­tor Lab, the de­vel­op­ers of a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion vul­ner­a­bil­ity scan­ner. MIT Tech­nol­ogy Re­view Arab Edi­tion also an­nounced this year’s Top 5 En­trepreneurs un­der 35: Ah­mad Al­fadel and Os­man Baker from the King Ab­dul­lah Univer­sity for Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy (Saudi Ara­bia); Eve Tam­raz from white Lab and Jean Nehme from touch Surgery (Le­banon); and Ya­man Abou Jeib from Glean (Syria).

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