Muscat: The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab has announced the final award ceremony for the 11th edition of the MITEF Arab Startup Competition, which will be held in the Sultanate on April 19, 2018.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat and was attended by representatives from institutions supporting this competition.
This year’s edition will be held yet again in partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organisation that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote and contribute towards positive societal change and economic sustainability. This year’s edition will also see the addition of Oman-based strategic partners Riyada, the Sultanate’s Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Omantel, the Sultanate’s leading integrated telecommunications provider; Oman Technology Fund (OTF), whose aim is to make Oman an innovation hub in the region and position the Sultanate as the preferred destination for national and international entrepreneurs, investing in related incubator, accelerator and global venture capital programmes; and Digital Partner Zain Group, a regional telecom operator.
The MITEF Arab Startup Competition opened its registration process on September 3, which will continue until December 5 on the competition’s official website: Mitarabcompetition.com.
The semi-finalist teams will be announced on January 12, 2018, and they will compete for the $160,000 prize money on offer.
Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab, emphasised the importance of betting and investing in the capacities and talents of the Arab youth to ensure societal development. "We will proceed with the annual MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition for the 11th year in a row. Through the years, it has become a platform for young talents to embark on their careers, express their ideas and achieve them on the ground. The closing ceremony will be held in Sultanate, which will be the incubator for hundreds of young people and entrepreneurs in their journey towards discovery, development and success,” she noted.
Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: "The annual competition continues to play a key role in creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the region, and Community Jameel is delighted to support its already excellent reputation. We look forward to further developing entrepreneurship in the Arab region by promoting dialogue on how entrepreneurship can be encouraged, developing innovation, and discussing the challenges that young men and women may face in the future."
Khalid AlHaribi, acting CEO at Riyada, remarked: “This collaboration is a sign of a positive transformation, especially in terms of the competitiveness of Omani Enterprises. MITEF is a world-renowned forum that has established excellent partnerships with public institutions such as Riyada and National Youth Committee, in addition to associating with strategic stakeholders from the private sector such as Omantel and OTF. We hope that the exchange of knowledge, expertise and resources between entrepreneurs, organisations and investors will usher in a new era of scaling up local enterprises."
Said Salim Al Shanfari, General Manager Marketing Communication and Performance at Omantel, stated, “Start-ups are instrumental for the growth of economies and contribute immensely to the creation of jobs. Omantel is pleased to be associated with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to support entrepreneurs who are creating such opportunities for our people. We will continue to support and further such initiatives that enrich the lives of the community and also complement our service offerings to customers.
“Our alliance with Zain will create even more diversified offerings, bringing us closer to the goal of being a digital service provider, which will enable a truly connected and empowered society,” added Al Shanfari.
The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition will incorporate three tracks in its 11th edition: the ideas track, the start-ups track and the social entrepreneurship track. Each winning team will receive a cash prize, in addition to advanced training sessions, personal mentorship and guidance, besides a great deal of media coverage and excellent networking opportunities.