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MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab names startup contest winners
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 04 - 2015

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab region, with the strategic partner Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) and the Zain Group, announced that teams from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made it to the winner's stage at the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition for best start-up innovative and creative business ideas in the Arab world among 75 contesting teams from 15 Arab countries. The competition final winner's ceremony culminating six months of planning and staging the competition was held at the Symphony Style Hotel, Kuwait.
The eighth edition of this year's competition received an outstanding 4,275 individual and team applications (representing a record participation of over 12,000 entrepreneurs) from 21 Arab countries. The three tracks that entrants applied for are: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship.
The high profile ceremony was attended by more than 500 audience who were immensely-impressed and inspired by the candid comments and visionary statements that all four identies expressed.
In announcing the winners, Dr Sarah Ghaleb, General Manager of Education Jameel, the Education and Training Initiatives at Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, said: “I extend huge congratulations to each and every one of the competition winners. The quality of the projects presented by all of the entrants was truly outstanding, and the winning teams and individuals represent a growing community of creative and visionary entrepreneurs in our region. The prize money, as well as receiving the benefit of training, mentoring and media exposure, is sure to secure a bright future for our impressive competition winners.”
The highlight of the night culminated with the announcement of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition ceremony that saw the following entities make it to the winners stage who shared the prize money pool of $135,000:
Startups Track:
• Winner: Colorbug – a Lebanese team based in the UAE that created an ideal solution that fuses the traditional with the digital whereby kids are encouraged to color books and then enhance their experience with augmented reality technology, to enjoy learning in an interactive and entertaining way.
Ideas Track:
• Winner: Kotobna–Egyptian based team that gives young talented Arab authors an alternative method to publish and monetize their work (novels, comics, articles collections, blog collections and research papers
Social Entrepreneurship
Track: (3 equal winners)
• Visualizing Impact – a Lebanese entity that is a citizen data journalism laboratory that deploys data science, design and technology for social justice.
• La Perle de la Mer – A Moroccan based entity whose project aspires to ensure the healthiness and safety of the products through the establishment of purification plant that will allow marketing for products in different markets directly and will allow fishing permanently.
• Tahrir Academy – An Egyptian based entity offering a blended learning platform that provides engaging learning experiences to Egyptian youth, through combining world class and carefully localized teaching methods with the latest tools of technology
Apart from the winner's prize money, each of the Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship tracks semi-finalists benefitted from top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities throughout the competition. — SG

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