OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES ON DE­MAND

Have a startup? Imag­ine try­ing to pitch it in 7 min­utes. In an Uber.

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Entrepreneurship -

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, Uber and Arab­net teamed up to pro­vide en­trepreneurs with op­por­tu­ni­ties on­de­mand, in eleven cities across the Mid­dle East from Casablanca to Manama. As­pir­ing en­trepreneurs across the re­gion got the chance to pitch their star­tups to in­vestors while on the go.

Uber, the on-de­mand cab com­pany, is cur­rently one of the most valu­able star­tups with a val­u­a­tion of $51 Bil­lion, but is also one of the world’s most in­no­va­tive com­pany. Uber is now help­ing star­tups and in­vestors to meet each other through Uberpitch, an in­no­va­tive and sim­ple model.

How Uberpitch Works

Arab­net worked closely with Uber to roll out Uberpitch across eleven MENA cities: Abu Dhabi, Alexan­dria, Am­man, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Dam­mam, Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, and Riyadh. Over 300 ap­pli­cants were short-listed, the ma­jor­ity of which came from Cairo, Dubai, and Riyadh - proof of the vi­brant en­trepreneur­ship scene in these cities.

Par­tic­i­pants re­quested an Uberpitch ride dur­ing the as­signed times on April 26th. Those con­nected were picked up by one of the 25 Uber cars driv­ing around with judges around the streets of 11 cities. They had 7 min­utes to pitch and 7 min­utes to re­ceive feed­back.

The judges lis­tened to a cu­mu­la­tive of 176 pitches from a va­ri­ety of star­tups across the re­gion, and af­ter re­view­ing the scores, the judges in each city se­lected their nom­i­na­tion for each city’s fi­nal­ist. All the fi­nal­ists will be spon­sored by Uber in the Dig­i­tal Show­case at the Arab­net Dig­i­tal Sum­mit in Dubai on May 30-31.

Uberpitch started as a trial in the US a few years ago, but due to its huge suc­cess, Uber launched this pro­gram in all ma­jor cities around the world. The startup ex­plo­sion has been wit­nessed glob­ally, hence mak­ing the pro­gram suc­cess­ful, and the MENA re­gion is no ex­cep­tion.

Meet the Uber­pitchme Fi­nal­ists:

BUZZME | DUBAI Buzzme com­bines the lat­est tech­nol­ogy with good old fash­ioned net­work­ing. Buzzme en­ables the use of Geotech­nol­ogy with in­di­ca­tion of per­sonal in­ter­ests and pro­fes­sion to find peo­ple in the vicin­ity who share the same pas­sion or in­ter­est.

faster than other com­pa­nies or free­lancers giv­ing them a com­pet­i­tive edge in the mar­ket. once. Smartable helps fo­cus their aca­demic en­deav­ors and goals to best match their ca­reer in­ter­ests and job prospects. and a trained driver fills the tank.

There has been a rise in civic en­gage­ment in the MENA re­gion dur­ing the past decade, where the high youth pop­u­la­tion have been ex­press­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the sta­tus quo. Faced with sev­eral so­ci­etal, po­lit­i­cal, and eco­nom­i­cal chal­lenges, the so­cially com­mit­ted have turned to­wards so­cial en­trepreneur­ship as an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate so­lu­tions to some of the re­gion’s most per­plex­ing so­cial is­sues.

So­cial en­trepreneurs de­velop in­no­va­tive projects and or­ga­ni­za­tions with a “dou­ble bot­tom line” of prof­itabil­ity and so­cial im­pact rather than sim­ply hav­ing a busi­ness im­pact. Rec­og­niz­ing that char­ity is not a sus­tain­able so­lu­tion, so­cial en­trepreneurs turn to rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing busi­nesses for a sus­tain­able long-term im­pact. Sim­i­lar to for-profit com­pa­nies, they have a steady in­come and akin to star­tups, so­cial en­trepreneurs look for in­vestors and ac­cel­er­a­tors to ex­pand and en­sure that their ini­tia­tive is sus­tain­able. Move­ment of He­roes It would be im­pos­si­ble to list all of the re­gion’s so­cial en­ter­prises in one list, but we’ve com­piled a list of some of our fa­vorites:

man­age­ment and sup­ports them dur­ing fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions putting them on track to­wards in­de­pen­dence. Through Re­able, users in­put the ban­knotes they are car­ry­ing with them. While con­duct­ing a trans­ac­tion they take a pic­ture of the re­ceipt, the app then in­forms the user of the to­tal amount to pay and the op­ti­mal com­bi­na­tion of bills to pay with. The app also in­forms them how much change they should ex­pect and which notes. Their par­ents/guardians are also able to track the user’s ex­pen­di­ture and fi­nan­cial sta­tus. More­over, the app also fa­cil­i­tates bud­get man­age­ment. Re­able emerged out of a boot­camp held by Altc­ity in Au­gust 2015, won first prize at BDL Ac­cel­er­ate 2015, were among the fi­nal­ists of the Startup Demo at Arab­net Beirut, and have re­cently been se­lected as one of 10 star­tups to join the renowned startup in­cu­ba­tor, Tech­stars, in their re­cently launched ac­cel­er­a­tor in Cape Town. Coun­try of ori­gin: Le­banon Date of launch: 2015 in Beta Cat­e­gory: Health An agri­cul­ture com­pany based in Le­banon, Life­lab is ded­i­cated to de­sign­ing and build­ing in­tel­li­gent self­op­er­at­ing ver­ti­cal hy­dro­ponic farms that mul­ti­ply the yield of any given farm plot by 10 to 15 times. Those are indoor farms, com­pletely au­to­mated and cli­mate con­trolled. Un­af­fected by sea­sonal change, these farms are ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing crops all year long. What’s more in­ter­est­ing is that they are re­sis­tant to pests and dis­ease in­fes­ta­tions, and are highly ef­fi­cient re­gard­ing their en­ergy re­quire­ments us­ing 95% less water than tra­di­tional farms. Life­lab also runs a 6,000 sqm model farm, which serves as a show­case for the tech­nol­ogy and pro­duc­tion tech­niques, and also as a prof­itable rev­enue source for the com­pany. In Novem­ber 2015, the com­pany won first place at the Hyundai HARASSMAP was launched in 2010 with the aim to re­duce the so­cial ac­cept­abil­ity of sex­ual ha­rass­ment through­out Egypt by al­low­ing women to re­port when and where they got ha­rassed. Each in­ci­dent re­port shows up as a red dot on the web­site’s map of Egypt pin point­ing where the in­ci­dent oc­curred. By click­ing on the dot, users can read ex­actly what was writ­ten by the per­son re­port­ing the as­sault. When a woman re­ports an at­tack, she re­ceives im­me­di­ate help, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion on how and where she can get sup­port, such as coun­selling or le­gal as­sis­tance. Since its launch, HARASSMAP has re­ceived the 2011 World Sum­mit Youth Award and the 2012 Deutsche Welle Best of the Blogs Award for ‘Best Use of Tech­nol­ogy for So­cial Good Coun­try of ori­gin: Egypt Date of launch: 2010 Cat­e­gory: Civil So­ci­ety In the midst of the power cuts that have been plagu­ing Egypt, El Noor Geh emerged as an in­for­ma­tive online plat­form and e-store. Aim­ing to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion to aid the al­ready de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and fail­ing power grid, El Noor Geh ed­u­cates in­di­vid­u­als on en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and ef­fi­ciency. The plat­form also helps users keep track of their bills through cal­cu­lat­ing con­sump­tion as per the gov­ern­ment’s set pric­ing. It also fea­tures a blog with weekly posts around top­ics of sav­ing en­ergy, gen­eral knowl­edge on elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion as well as gov­ern­ment plans and prices for elec­tric­ity. The online store is filled with en­ergy ef­fi­cient prod­ucts as tan­gi­ble so­lu­tions to en­ergy con­ser­va­tion. Coun­try of ori­gin: Egypt Date of launch: 2014 Cat­e­gory: En­ergy Launched in 2011 by Zig Zag Labs, La­dy­bug aims to boost par­tic­i­pa­tion of Ira­nian women in the tech­nol­ogy world through con­tent build­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and men­tor­ship, and through cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity. Less than a year later, like-minded part­ners came to­gether and in­vested in video-mak­ing, pro­mo­tional pho­tos and the over­all de­sign, lead­ing La­dy­bug to suc­cess­fully catch the at­ten­tion of the pub­lic. In 2014 La­dy­bug won the United Na­tion’s Youth Award for ad­vanc­ing the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goal of “Power to Women.” The global con­test brings to­gether young de­vel­op­ers and dig­i­tal en­trepreneurs — un­der 30 years of age — who use in­ter­net and mo­bile tech­nol­ogy to put the UN Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals (MDGS) into ac­tion and make a dif­fer­ence.” Coun­try of ori­gin: Iran Date of launch: 2011 Cat­e­gory: Civil So­ci­ety Syr­ian-bri­tish brothers Ki­nan and Louai Muhammed wanted to help give Syr­ian med­i­cal stu­dents the chance to con­tinue learn­ing through

As a dis­ci­pline, so­cial en­trepreneur­ship has the abil­ity to trans­form lives and to efffff­fect mean­ing­ful so­cial change. It in­volves adopt­ing a highly prac­ti­cal ap­proach to so­cial de­vel­op­ment, it en­tails in­vest­ing in peo­ple who can iden­tify the un­der­ly­ing is­sues that lead to so­cial prob­lems, and use in­no­va­tion to im­ple­ment sys­temic change in or­der to ad­dress those is­sues efffff­fec­tively – and even­tu­ally erad­i­cate them. While this means in­vest­ing in lo­cal so­lu­tions to lo­cal prob­lems, it also in­volves cre­at­ing an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment – an ecosys­tem. Many of the re­gional he­roes were given the courage to wear their capes. Their abil­ity to trans­form lives and to cre­ate mean­ing­ful so­cial change was sup­ported by or­ga­ni­za­tions/ven­tures who en­abled them with the tools, or pro­vided them with in­vest­ments, or men­tored them. Ththrough­out the MENA re­gion ven­tures, in­cu­ba­tors, ac­cel­er­a­tors, and com­pe­ti­tions have emerged fo­cus­ing on so­cial en­ter­prises: In Egypt, Nahdet El Mahrousa and Rise Egypt are two ex­am­ples; in Morocco the Moroc­can Cen­ter for In­no­va­tion and So­cial En­trepreneur­ship launched Dare, an in­cu­ba­tor for so­cial en­ter­prises; in Tehran, Sam­sung or­ga­nized a startup week­end with a so­cial in­no­va­tion theme; BDL Ac­cel­er­ate 2015 in Beirut held an idea stage startup work­shop and com­pe­ti­tion themed Reimag­in­ing Le­banon; Chivas launched The Ven­ture, a re­gional ini­tia­tive call­ing for in­no­va­tive busi­ness with an im­pact; The Hult Foun­da­tion has been host­ing re­gional com­pe­ti­tions and is cur­rently set­ting up of­fice for The Hult Le­banon look­ing to ac­cel­er­ate Le­banese so­cial en­ter­prises. Ththe en­ter­pris­ing, and in­spir­ing, young in­no­va­tors are carv­ing out new paths for the re­gion to re­solve to­day’s most press­ing prob­lems. It is im­per­a­tive that so­cial en­ter­prises con­tinue to thrive. Var­i­ous play­ers are sup­port­ing as­pir­ing so­cial en­ter­prises, but there has been a lack in try­ing to cre­ate bet­ter and deeper link­ages across the ecosys­tem, thereby ad­vanc­ing the suc­cess of so­cial en­ter­prises.

ydaearrsporicues­nwdill souar. M eoanfw A Round-up-p of Taxi-book­ingThiale, ib­n­ragnd , A App­swh­picph sco lflaobor­ra­tres­for Res­i­dents­d­se­electewsithi in Mfeae­tun­ringa MENA pri­oop­dusl. a Thrmeaasptepr puiseec­setswforom sat­u­rat­ing. Screendy is an online tool does em­ploy a small in-house team car­toon char­ac­ters, Mati and Dad to that al­lows web de­vel­op­ers to quickly that de­vel­ops and main­tains their guide the user through the tour. The tran­si­tion to mo­bile de­vel­op­ment. A de­sign; a core strength of Me­juri is its app is a white la­bel prod­uct and could drag and drop ed­i­tor al­lows them to pow­er­ful sup­ply chain, which is able to be cus­tom­ized for ex­ist­ing in­sti­tu­tions, as­sem­ble and style an app; while the bring a prod­uct into life within four mu­se­ums, art gal­leries and so on. The sys­tem can then gen­er­ate the code to six weeks. app com­bines three ac­tiv­i­ties chil­dren re­quired for Google or Ap­ple’s store. en­joy on their smart­phones and tablets: watch car­toons, play games, and take pic­tures. It will also fea­ture Im­age Recog­ni­tion Tech­nol­ogy to al­low kids to in­ter­act with the out­side world for real ac­tive learn­ing. My­cars will be the first elec­tric­car shar­ing ser­vice to hit the UAE. Founded in Au­gust of last year, My­cars is look­ing to launch its shar­ing ser­vice in June. In an interview with Wamda, CEO Ben Pullen said that the com­pany is aim­ing to launch with a 50:50 of hy­brid to nor­mal cars, fol­low­ing re­quests from “two of the big­gest tow­ers in Dubai to lo­cate elec­tric and hy­brid My­cars hubs” close to them. The goal he says is to offfff­fer a com­pletely elec­tric fleet by 2020. Though Zip­car still hasn’t made it to the UAE, My­cars’ more im­me­di­ate com­pe­ti­tion would be in­di­rect, pri­mar­ily from Ca­reem, Uber, as well as lo­cal taxis. Noura Sakki­jha, Jor­da­nian born third gen­er­a­tion jew­eler, re­cently founded Me­juir, an online jew­elry store. Me­juri was ini­tially con­ceived as a crowd­fund­ing plat­form for jew­el­ers. The idea was to cre­ate a plat­form for de­sign­ers to help them bring their de­signs to life. Over time the com­pany was piv­oted from a tech plat­form to a Sakkini is a UAE based online real es­tate plat­form that caters to both po­ten­tial home buy­ers and prop­erty in­vestors. Trust is a key fo­cus of Sakkini. The founders con­cocted the idea af­ter they had per­son­ally mis­lead by false ad­ver­tis­ing in Dubai on a cou­ple of lo­cal prop­erty list­ings web­sites. Con­se­quently, Sakkini’s core value is em­pow­er­ing buy­ers and in­vestors with ac­cu­rate data: ren­ders and floor plans of prop­er­ties, in­for­ma­tion about the ameni­ties and com­mu­nity around each one, his­toric data, in ad­di­tion to price in­di­ca­tors that are gen­er­ated by al­go­rithms. Sakkini was part of Flat6labs first cy­cle of star­tups in Abu Dhabi. The com­pany was also a semi­fi­nal­ist in the MIT En­ter­prise Fo­rum Arab Startup Com­pe­ti­tion in 2015. Sakkini has re­ceived seed in­vest­ment from Flat6labs and twofour54. An­other Flat6labs com­pany is Kik­abò Labs, a dig­i­tal stu­dio that tai­lors ed­u­ca­tional con­tent, car­toons and apps. The com­pany is a spin-offff of an Ital­ian an­i­ma­tion pro­duc­tionon Com­pany called Ach­toons. Ach­toonss has more than 15 years of ex­pe­rien ce. For now the com­pany has de­velo oped a car­toon­ish vir­tual tour of an im mag­i­nary mu­seum An online mar­ket­place ded­i­cated to school sup­plies, Stu­dent­cart was founded by Ha­mad and Faisal Al Ham­madi of Slice, a F&B com­pany that caters to schools. The plat­form brings to­gether par­ents, schools, and book ven­dors. Par­ents can pur­chase from a num­ber of ven­dors sug­gested by the school. Par­ents can also rate ven­dors, which helps other par­ents and fu­ture buy­ers make their choice, as well as schools, who can in turn bet­ter as­sess which ven­dors to part­ner with. Stu­dent­cart also hopes to sell uni­forms as well as offfff­fer trans­porta­tion for stu­dents in the fu­ture.

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