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MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition 2016

Two Bahraini teams compete in the finals of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition 2016

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  • Supported by founding partner Community Jameel and Zain Group, winners from the Competition’s three tracks revealed at final ceremony in King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah on 14 April
  • Total prize money on offer in excess of US$150,000

Two startups from Bahrain have qualified for the final stages of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition 2016. A total of 76 competing teams from 15 Arab countries have reached the semi-final stage, with the Competition’s finalists and ultimate winners set to be revealed at a gala event to be held at King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 14 April.

The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is organized in partnership with Community Jameel, the Social Enterprise arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, and Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa. This year’s final ceremony and conference is supported by government partner, Economic Cities Authority of KSA, and hosting partner, King Abdullah Economic City, as well as global technology provider Huawei.

The applicants from Bahrain vying to make it to the final and be crowned winners include Makaani (consisting of Mohamed Al Sadek and Mohammed Ebrahim), who have developed a platform where an individual, startup or small enterprise can rent out the retail, office, and leisure space that they need based on their type of business for a short period of time. The other semi-finalist is Robodem (a project of Tasneem Mohamed Youssef), which is applying a life changing patent pending Robot that detects explosive materials and can be controlled indoors using a mobile app or outdoors through a web-based system.

The Bahraini semi-finalists span two of the Competition’s three tracks – Startup, Ideas and Social Entrepreneurship with total prize money on offer in excess of US$150,000. Each of the three tracks will award the first three ranked winners with cash prizes, in addition to many other benefits, including: top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities.

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Zain Group has always possessed a strong affinity for youth development, entrepreneurship, and innovation, so its support of the Competition is something the company believes aligns perfectly with its own core values.

Commenting on the semi-finalists from Bahrain, Mohammed Zainalabedin, GM of Zain Bahrain said, “We at Zain are proud to foster the growth of this competition as we recognize that much of the region’s future development will be driven by the ideas of young people in technology. Turning these ideas into something constructive and sustainable has been, and will continue to be, the success story of the modern age.”

Mr. Zainalabedin continued, “We are hopeful that the two Bahrain semi-finalists will perform well in the finals and are looking forward to interacting with this year’s aspiring entrepreneurs and taking the opportunity to capitalize on the most promising innovative ideas in the digital space, all of which further strengthens our position as a digital lifestyle provider.”

Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International commented: “At Community Jameel, we are committed to enabling the next generation of young entrepreneurs, and will remain focused on creating and enabling an environment in which young entrepreneurs can achieve their aspirations. We are overwhelmed with the quality of participants in this competition and are confident that this 9th edition will yield promising entrepreneurs who will play an important role in shaping the economy.”

In the lead-up to the finals, MITEF Startup Competition semi-finalists benefited from a Six Sigma training bootcamp’s program that were held in four cities across the region.

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