The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab Region announced the semi-finalists of the 10th edition of the MIT Arab Startup Competition, in partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organisation that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability, and Zain Group, a leading telecommunications innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa.
This year’s strategic partner is Tamkeen, a semi-governmental organisation in Bahrain with the task of turning the private sector into the key driver of sustainable economic development.
MITEF said in a press release that this year’s edition has witnessed an unprecedented turnout with more than 8,272 applications, constituting a 39% increase in comparison to last year’s edition.
The highest number of applications came from Egypt, Morocco, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. It noted that the submitted projects tackled a variety of sectors, among the most prominent of which were software related to education, healthcare, and creative industries.
The semi-finalists of the 10th MIT Arab Startup Competition hailed from 11 Arab countries; 22 from Egypt, 11 from Lebanon, 10 from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 8 from Jordan, 6 from Tunisia, 5 from Morocco, 3 from Bahrain, 2 from Sudan, 2 from Libya, and 1 from Algeria. Nine Saudi Arabian teams will also be added to the list from the MITEF Saudi Competition that will be announced in March.
These teams will be invited to participate in the pre boot camp training which will be held in March in Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE.
This year’s edition is of special importance, as it celebrates 10 years of success and excellence while serving generations of young Arabs and their creative entrepreneurial ideas. Very much like last year’s competition, this edition included three exciting tracks—ideas, startups, and social entrepreneurship.
Cash prizes exceeding $160,000 will be distributed among the nine winners, three per track.
Beyond the cash prizes, all semi-finalists will benefit from advanced training sessions, personal mentorship, and guidance, not to mention a great deal of media coverage and excellent networking opportunities.
Hala Fadel, chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab, said that they have great expectations for this year’s competition, whether it’s in terms of ideas, startups, or social entrepreneurship, to take the most innovative of these entrepreneurs to new heights.
Fady Jameel, president of Community Jameel International, noted that the organization is happy with the diversity of the semi-finalists, which proves that the Arab world is full of talent and creativity. “We have offered our full support to this successful event for 10 consecutive years now and remain true to our commitment to see it through,” he noted.
As for Zain Group’s support of the latest MIT Arab Startup Competition, CEO Scott Gegenheimer said that he is excited to support the competition again this year and congratulated the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to another milestone, marking the 10th year of running.
The MIT Arab Startup Competition will culminate in a four-day event from 24 April to 27 April in Bahrain, with the announcement of the competition winners set to take place during the final award ceremony.