DUBAI: The Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative launched by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with Smart Dubai to support entrepreneurship, launched the 4th round of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition today from the Chamber’s headquarters.
The contest is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into the world’s happiest and smartest city.
The Smartpreneur competition seeks to engage young entrepreneurs in Dubai’s strategic initiatives, and empower them to participate in the Dubai Government’s strategy and plans to establish the emirate as a prime international destination for innovative startups.
In his welcome address, HE Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber, asserted that the innovative Dubai Startup Hub initiative was launched as the Chamber became increasingly aware of the need to expand its support for entrepreneurs in Dubai and further promote innovation among them. H.E noted that launching the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition aims to empower young entrepreneurs, encourage them to think beyond traditional business models and limitations, engage them in the Dubai Government’s strategy, and include them in the efforts to realise Dubai’s vision for becoming a full-fledged smart city.
Entrepreneurship and innovation are key pillars of the Chamber’s strategy in the near future, H.E. Al Shirawi added, reaffirming the Dubai Startup Hub’s role in attracting innovators from around the world to help Dubai’s business environment stand out and establish it as the city of the future.
The launch ceremony included two panel discussions, one of which brought together winners and candidates from the Competition’s previous edition, including Ishita Sood, COO & Co-founder at WakeCap Technologies; Walied Al Bashir, Founder of Intuition AI; and Abdul Matheen Yousef, Founder of Airspace Blockchain Co.
Meanwhile, the second panel included entrepreneurship experts in Dubai, namely, Rami Sarieddine, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft; Perm Kamath, Director of Digital Experience and Strategy Leader at Ernst & Young; Tariq Al Zubair from OTC Supply; and Ian Norville, Head of MENA Division at Norbloc.
The Dubai Smartpreneur Competition is open to all entrepreneurs residing in the UAE; candidates can submit their business ideas that resonate with Dubai’s future-focused, technology-driven vision, which embraces advanced breakthroughs such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation. Applications will be received via the link http://www.dubaichamber.com/dubaistartuphub/smartpreneur/, and then evaluated by a judging panel of experts from Dubai’s business and entrepreneurship community to select three winners, who will receive a monetary prize, in addition to training, support, and guidance to help them transform their ideas into concrete projects.
Entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the competition in accordance with a set timeline, which includes a training and guidance stage where they are introduced to the application procedure, as well as the programme’s terms and conditions. Participants will then present their business ideas to be evaluated, the most promising of which will be shortlisted and supported. The final stage will see the top three candidates selected, trained and guided before the winners are announced at the end.
Launched by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2016, the Dubai Startup Hub is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa region and will come under the Smart Dubai umbrella, representing a unique partnership between the public and private sectors to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. It also offers great resources for Dubai-based entrepreneurs, allowing visitors to remain up to date with technology-related jobs in the city; view a city-wide tech events calendar; and receive continuous updates and breaking news stories.
This initiative also aligns with Dubai Chamber’s aim to support entrepreneurs and promote innovation. In 2015, the Chamber launched its innovation strategy in line with its mission to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai. The Chamber has also been working towards supporting entrepreneurs through its Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme, which identifies and develops the business ideas of Emirati entrepreneurs. News Desk