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