As announced on Mar 4, Dubai Startup Hub has launched the 3rd edition of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition. The competition is held in partnership with Smart Dubai.

Launched in 2016, Dubai Startup Hub is a semi-government initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It aims to provide clarity and direction in the journey of a startup entrepreneur. As an interactive platform, it connects startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth. 

The announcement of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition was made during a special launch event that was recently held at the Dubai Chamber and attended by members of the emirate’s business and startup communities.

The event included a panel discussion that was joined by industry experts who shared their insights on the adoption of blockchain, artificial intelligence and other innovative technologies in Dubai, and offered practical advice for startups operating in these fields.

During the launch event, His Excellency Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, highlighted Dubai’s ambitious plans to become one of the world’s smartest cities and explained that the competition offers an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs to support Dubai’s vision and turn their business ideas into a reality.

Since 2016, the Competition has been complementing Dubai Chamber’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation within Dubai’s business community.

He noted that since its launch in 2016, the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition has succeeded in meeting its objectives of identifying and developing innovative ideas that have the potential to improve the local business environment and the wider society, adding that interest and participation in the competition have grown considerably over the last few years.

This year, the competition is seeking business ideas in 3 categories, namely Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Transformation.

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges that will select the submissions offering the most potential.

50 finalists would be chosen to attend two full-day workshops on sector-specific training, mentorship, building relationships and developing a full business plan, ending with a live pitch for 10 finalists and an exhibition booth at ArabNet Digital Summit 2018.

The top three winners would compete in a final live pitch and receive a cash prize of AED 150,000, and the opportunity to join a number of the Dubai Startup Hub’s annual programs and receive a startup support package, including access to its MarketAccess program, legal assistance, financial advice, fundraising and mentorship opportunities, and overseas trade missions, Dubai Chamber Events and trainings.

H.E. Al Shirawi stated that the competition falls in line with Dubai Chamber’s comprehensive entrepreneurship strategy that aims to empower entrepreneurs and startups through various programmes, initiatives and events organised under the Dubai Startup Hub platform.

The Dubai Smartpreneur Competition gives startups and entrepreneurs in the UAE opportunity to become part of Dubai Government’s Strategy to “elevate the city into a global platform for innovation-focused businesses”.

He added that such initiatives nurture Dubai’s entrepreneurial eco-system and support Dubai’s vision to become a global innovation hub.

Former finalist Avira Tharakan, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Docs Wallet, also spoke during the event, sharing his experience of participating in the previous edition of the Competition and highlighting the unique advantages it provided to his startup. 

Applications are now open till Apr 9, 2018. 

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