Dubai – MENA Herald: Following the high level of interest generated in the competition that has received more than 160 entries from 30 countries, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority announced that submission deadline for the ‘Innovation 4 Impact’ ends tomorrow (August 31, 2016).
The second edition of the unique Innovation 4 Impact Competition targeting entrepreneurs in the Islamic digital economy space will take centre-stage at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016 (GIES 2016) to be held under the theme ‘Inspiring Change’. Islamic digital start-ups are invited to get in the ring and demonstrate their expertise – and seize the opportunity of winning the competition for international digital entrepreneurs.
Set to run at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from October 11-12, the competition is being organized by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), in collaboration with Thomson Reuters.
The 2016 edition of Innovation 4 Impact Competition opened doors to applicants from around the world on July 13. The contest is designed to empower Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs in pitching their businesses, as well as to bring them to the attention of the investors’ networks. The winning entrepreneur will gain expert guidance in advancing his / her business, in addition to a cash prize and in-kind benefits.
Managed in collaboration with the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, the competition welcomes the participation of start-ups across the world with potentially ground-breaking digital solutions that can ensure long-term economic and social impact on the Islamic digital economy. The ideas and proposals can range from E-commerce to Mobile Computing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Hyper-converged Platforms, and News/Social Media.
Shortlisted entrepreneurs will be invited to submit detailed proposals, get interviewed by professionals, and eventually present their ideas to an expert panel, as well as to an audience comprising prominent entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and digital start-up influencers.
The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of US$ 20,000 and a set of incubational services collectively valued at over US$10,000 – including a one-year free desk at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC), DSOA’s wholly owned technology incubation centre and the largest of its kind in the region. The winner of the Innovation 4 Impact Competition will be announced on the second and final day of the Summit – October 12, 2016.
Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said: “We are confident that the Innovation 4 Impact Competition is the ideal platform for digital entrepreneurs around the globe to engage with professionals and experts in their respective fields. These young brilliant minds will present remarkable innovative solutions that have the potential to disrupt the Islamic digital economy. Our collaboration in organizing this competition is in line with DSOA’s sustained efforts to articulate the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as the global capital of Islamic economy.
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “We are pleased to launch the second edition of the Innovation 4 Impact Competition following the success of the inaugural event. This competition serves as a pilot for new technologies developed by aspiring entrepreneurs and helps showcase their innovative solutions in front of a discerning jury and audience. In 2015, we were introduced to a wide line-up of innovators and technology-based start-ups. We were truly proud to share the best-in-class business proposals and solutions with the world through the platform of the Innovation 4 impact Competition.
“We strongly believe this competition to be the ideal stage for the advancement of the innovation ecosystem in the business world, which also serves our goal to further develop the Islamic economy. We are here to build an entrepreneurial-minded community, and are ready to hone the right talent in building a knowledge-based economy. We encourage all digital entrepreneurs who are yet to apply for the competition to submit their applications before August 31 and try their luck.”
Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa, commented on the successful collaboration with DSOA and DIEDC, and said: “We are privileged to shape such synergies for the second consecutive year. We believe that enhancing the dynamism of economies across this region is vital to nurturing future growth. This requires a changed business approach and necessitates large corporations endorsing young businesses. Such collaborations will seamlessly combine the best aspects of young start-ups, SMEs and corporations to spur economic growth, and support the emergence of a vibrant knowledge-based economy in the region and beyond.”
As stated earlier, the extended application submissions deadline is now August 31, 2016. Start-ups in the domains of technology, social impact, and smart community, looking to raise investment for their business and get strategic advice from a highly experienced and renowned panel of judges are specifically invited to join the competition. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified by the second week of September 2016 and invited to pitch their businesses on the first day of GIES 2016 – October 11. The winner will be announced on the closing day of the Summit on October 12.