BEIRUT: MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab announced the 66 semi-finalist teams who will officially be competing in the 12th edition of the Arab Startup Competition which will be held for the first time in Beirut this year. Every application was thoroughly reviewed by 3 judges for content and evaluated according to a set of criteria, in order to have the first 80 semifinalists.
Founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Arab World, MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab has launched this initiative in partnership with Community Jamel which is a social enterprise organization that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability.
During the application period, all participants had the option of applying to one of three different tracks: Startups Track, Ideas Track, and Social Entrepreneurship Track. Each track had its own eligibility criteria, which took into consideration the level of growth, development stage, funding rounds, prototype status, among others.
Semifinalists will be participating in a pre-boot camp which should prepare the participants to perfect their business model, learn about customer mapping, scale their ventures, improve their pitching skills, and more. The pre-boot camp will be taking place at ZINC (King Hussein Business Park) in Amman (Jordan) on the 26th and 27th of February.
Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “Since its launch in 2006, the Arab Startup Competition has attracted more than 40,000 applicants, with winners receiving over USD 1 million in equity-free financing. This year’s edition has engaged 4,000 of the Arab world's most promising innovators and startups from different countries in the region, as well as a number of entrepreneurs residing in Europe, Africa, and South East Asia.”
The competition will culminate in a 2-day event which will gather prominent speakers, thought leaders, innovators, mentors, judges, and entrepreneurs for a one day conference on March 29, 2019.
Ferid Belhaj, World Bank Group Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, commented: “This is the first time the World Bank partners with MITEF Pan Arab and we are happy to support the Arab Startup Competition. This competition promises to train and empower the next wave of Arab innovators that will drive further job creation and social inclusion in the region."
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