• Competition seeks submissions from startups offering solutions related to the Expo 2020 Dubai subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability
• Startups should submit entries by February 26th through the Dubai Startup Hub website
Dubai, UAE – Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has launched the fifth cycle of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition, which is open to startups offering solutions related to the Expo 2020 Dubai subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
A launch ceremony, held today at Dubai Chamber's premises, was attended by Dubai Chamber officials, previous competition winners and contestants, members of the local startup community, and representatives from Expo 2020 Dubai and DP World.
Open to all entrepreneurs in the UAE and abroad, the competition gives the opportunity to become part of Dubai Government's strategy to elevate the city into a global platform for innovative startups.
It also falls in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into one of the world's smartest cities. Startups must submit their entries through the Dubai Startup Hub website by the February 26th deadline.
Commenting on the Dubai Smartprenuer Competition, HE Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, noted that the annual competition been one of the most successful initiatives launched under Dubai Startup Hub to date which has supported Dubai Chamber's comprehensive entrepreneurship strategy of empowering entrepreneurs and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive and grow.
Over 1,600 smart business ideas were submitted over the last four cycles of the competition, he revealed, adding that a surge in the number of international submissions was also observed in recent years, reflecting Dubai's status as a magnet from promising startups.
“Startups are a key source of innovation in Dubai as they bring cutting-edge solutions to the market. By aligning this year's competition with Expo 2020 Dubai, we are creating more opportunities and benefits for participating startups and positioning Dubai as innovation leader,” he added.
The launch ceremony featured an informative presentation outlining the criteria for submissions and the main benefits of participating, which include AED 150,000 in cash prizes for top 3 winners, a four-day bootcamp for the top 50 startups, and an opportunity for the top 10 startups to exhibit at Expo 2020 Dubai and meet with potential investors and business partners.
Ferkah Lakhany, Co-founder of Arabee, a previous competition winner; and competition finalists Nadim Habr, Founder and CEO of DesignHubz; and Arif Aabed, Co-founder of Monocole, joined a panel discussion where they spoke about their experiences and the benefits they gained from participating.
In addition, Tala Al Ansari, Director of the Global Entrepreneur's Program – Expo 2020 Dubai; and Ibrahim Al Najjar, IT Director at DP World, shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities associated with emerging technologies.
Following the submission deadline, entries will be evaluated and shortlisted with the selected candidates then qualifying for the training phase of the competition. At the final stage, the remaining candidates will be trained and guided before the top 3 winners are announced at an awards ceremony in April 2020.
Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.