Having opened the ninth edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition for applications via the competition’s website www.mitarabcompetition.com, on 6 October, 2015, the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan Arab Region (MITEF PAR), held a series of roadshows in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan, to promote the competition and to encourage entrepreneurs to submit applications. From now until the end of November, the organizers plan to undertake additional roadshows in Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, the UAE, and again in Egypt.
Kuwait will be hosting two briefing sessions on Tuesday, 24 November from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm at American University of Kuwait and from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Startupq8 Event at Global Tower, Shuhada St, Sharq.
The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is organized in partnership with Community Jameel, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, and Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa.
During the roadshows, participants enjoy a presentation about the competition, followed by a Q&A session, and then additional presentations and shared success stories from former competition participants. Notably, the Sudan roadshow, organized by Zain, on 18 October at the Korinthia Hotel in Khartoum, hosted approximately 125 entrepreneurs and students. The first roadshow in Egypt took place between 19 October –25 October when MITEF PAR had a booth at the GESR Social Innovation Summit at Cairo’s Greek Campus as well as during the Tecne Summit at the Alexandria Library, with the presentations attended by a combined total of over 300 students and entrepreneurs.
The Jordan roadshow took place in Amman from 1 November –3 November with presentations made at the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, the Zain Innovation Campus, and OASIS500 attended by a combined total of over 200 students and entrepreneurs. On 2 November, Jordan’s Hala FM aired live interviews with the MITEF PAR representative and two competition success stories during its 1-hour “Khalik Maa Zain” program.
In Lebanon, the event took place on November 18, at the American University of Beirut attended by over 100 students and aspiring entrepreneurs and this will be followed by a series of other roadshows at universities across Lebanon. In Bahrain, Zain hosted two briefing sessions on Sunday 22nd of November at Zain Tower. Officials from MITEF Startup Competition and last year’s winner @Colorbug attended the event.
On his part, Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer said, “Our support of the roadshows and the Competition is unflinching because Zain understands the importance of youth development, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We nurture talent in our organization and have identified this as one of our leading success factors, so we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners looking to inspire talented people in other areas. We echo the call for applicants to attend roadshows and apply to participate in this year’s Competition.”
Regarding Community Jameel International’s support of the competition and roadshows, President Fady Jameel said, “We are excited to welcome new applicants to this year’s competition, and we hope they take the opportunity to attend one of the roadshows, to hear first-hand how the competition can offer them unprecedented opportunities. Entrepreneurs play an important role in shaping the economy, and each year we look forward to receiving new applications and meeting and networking with the applicants at the roadshows. The roadshows are just the beginning of an exciting journey to success for the young entrepreneurs.”
Commenting on the success of the roadshows, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said, “The MIT Enterprise Forum Startup Competition roadshows are an exciting component of the competition as they allow our team to meet face-to-face with hundreds of talented youth across the region, as well as to re-connect with the entrepreneurs behind our success stories who join the roadshows to share their overall competition experience. The roadshows aim to inform and inspire this talent and to encourage them to apply to the competition and benefit from the cash prizes, top-notch training, mentorship, networking, and media exposure the competition offers.”
The competition final will be held in Jeddah on 14 April, 2016 with prizemoney exceeding US$150,000 to be awarded to winners of the three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship. Each of the three tracks will award the first three ranked winners with cash prizes in addition to many other benefits including: top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities.
Roadshows in Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, and the UAE are still to be scheduled to take place from now until mid-December. For more information on this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition eligibility and judging criteria, as well as the planned roadshows, please visit www.mitarabcompetition.com.