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DSOA Awards Top Startups at itsEntrepreneur Day Competition

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, today announced the winners of the Business Plan Competition conductedas part ofits ‘Entrepreneur Day’. 

Hosted at the Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai, the event was inaugurated by Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak, Deputy CEO at DSOA, followed by a welcome speech. William Chappell, CFO, then shed light on the ‘Tech Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and the role of DSOA.’The sessions included a talk by Faysal Sohail, Managing Partner CMEA Capital, on ‘Tech Investments in Silicon Valley’, and a presentation by Carsten Sudhoff, Founder & CEO CircularSociety,on the latest leadership trends. 

The final round of the Business Plan Competition served as the highlight of the Entrepreneur Day. The segment invited all shortlisted candidates to present their business prototype to a jury of national and international angel inventors and venture capitalists. 

The winners were judged on the basis of innovation, use of advanced technology, competitiveness, uniqueness of the product or service, research and understanding of the market. MENA Commerce and ‘Irhal’ (travel in Arabic) were awarded ‘Best Business Venture’ and ‘Best Islamic Economy Venture’ respectively.

MENA Commerce specializes in big data analytics enabling e-tailers and retailers in the region to enhance their businesses significantly. Irhal is a mobile app targeted at Muslim travelers globally.

The two winners will be provided with funding, incubation support, and a business license from DSOA. Overall winner, MENA Commerce will additionally receive three weeks of hands-on training at the PITME Labs, Silicon Valley on aspects such as product development, marketing, company modelling and customer acquisition strategies. 

The winning start-ups will also receive office space at the DSO-based Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (DTEC), which has been designed specifically to support entrepreneurs and young talents.

Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak, Deputy CEO, DSOA, said: “I would like to congratulatethe winners- they truly deserve this recognition from a platform that we anticipate will grow over the coming years. I would also like to acknowledge all participants and supporters who took this as a learning opportunity to expand their knowledge and horizons in technology-based entrepreneurship and products that support the UAE’s Islamic economy.  

“We have no doubt that this rewarding educational medium will be a stepping stone for these young and visionary business leaders- today and in the years to come.” 

PITME™ Labs is a three week acceleration program for Middle Eastern startups in Silicon Valley. Teams will receive expert training in different aspects of their business, including product development, user experience (UX)/ User Interface (UI) design, marketing, business modeling, customer acquisition strategies, and funding. Each day, a minimum of three mentors will engage with participants to guide them through their entrepreneurial journey of increasing revenue, growing their companies, raising money and better managing long-term partnerships.

A wholly-owned entity of the government of Dubai, DSO operates as a free zone technology park for large and medium enterprises, as well as small-sized companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai. 

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