Dubai – MENA Herald: Innovative business ideas of three budding entrepreneurs were awarded by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the conclusion of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition launched in cooperation with the Smart Dubai Office. The award ceremony was held on the side-lines of the ArabNet Digital Summit 2016 closing at Madinat Jumeirah on Tuesday.

The first prize was presented to Sebastian Stefan for his idea LoadMe focusing on reducing traffic through GPS tracking and smart phone apps and the second prize went to Craig Muyambo for his idea Efhamni (Understand Me), an application designed to bridge the gap between deaf and hearing people while the third prize was bagged by Murshed Mohamed, for his idea “I Want” which is an on-demand platform that helps people buy anything on retailers’ shelves with the push of a button.

The prize cheques were presented by H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, and Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, in the presence H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Dubai Chamber, and Head of Tejar Dubai Selection Committee Panel, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector, Dubai Chamber, and General Coordinator of Tejar Dubai.

In his keynote address, H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi lauded the efforts of the participants in presenting creative and innovative ideas which he said not only support the emirate’s entrepreneurship growth strategy but also Dubai’s efforts in offering smart and innovative services to the business community.

H.E. Al Shirawi further stressed that entrepreneurship and innovation are the bases on which the future growth of the emirate’s economy rest and the participants were quick enough to adopt the concept to base their ideas on the emirate’s innovative strategy of offering smart services.

He also stressed that the winners will now join the Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme launched by Dubai Chamber, which provides the necessary training and guidance to the owners of the ideas to turn their creations into viable commercial projects.

On her part, Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, said: “The competition provided a fitting platform for innovative individuals to think out of the box and come up with fresh ideas which are also in line with the dimensions of the objectives of the Smart Dubai initiative and will go a long way in supporting the emirate’s transformation to a global smart city leader.”

Launched by Dubai Chamber in cooperation with the Smart Dubai Office, the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition is designed with the aim to provide upcoming entrepreneurs the opportunity and inspiration to be part of Dubai’s transformation to a global benchmark smart city.

The competition received 350 entries out of which 48 qualified in the second phase last week and attended two full day workshops on sector-specific training from experts in the field while 10 were shortlisted in the final phase to select the three finalists by the committee of judges at its closing ceremony on Tuesday.

The specialised committee of judges included Ayesha Sultan, Board Member at Smart City – Dubai Holding, Abdulla Ali Al Madani CEO, Corporate Technology Support Services Sector Roads and Transport Authority, and Saeed Alabbar, Director at AESG and Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, who assessed the presentations of the 10 shortlisted participants for their innovative ideas before selecting the three winners.

The first three winners get a cash prize and the opportunity to join Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme for a year which will help them turn their business ideas into reality. The competition was open to all UAE-based entrepreneurs and required them to submit their business ideas in line with the Smart Dubai dimensions including smart economy, smart living, smart mobility, smart governance, smart environment, and smart people.

All applications were evaluated based on the following criteria including the problem the business addresses in a large or growing market opportunity, if the idea has a value proposition and identifies customers’ need for the product or service in line with the market and competitive landscape and if it supports one of the Smart Dubai dimensions.

Also, if the team demonstrates passion about their idea, and if they have a thorough and credible execution plan along with the idea’s Business Model, its revenue generation methods as well as its financial growth projections.