The GITEX Startup Movement is likely to create a new start up ecosystem which opens windows to the growth path. The week-long event will provide the participants a platform to sell, form partnerships and attract investors and also to pitch for prizes and attend an interactive conference to deliberate on various issues facing them. The initiative has already garnered tremendous interest and momentum from supporters across the globe including Business France, Cross Trade agency in Singapore, Digi Robotics in the UAE, Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Japan's Jetro agency, Marco Trade Export in Morocco, Star Systems agency in Iran and STC from KSA.
To Inspire is to Empower
Amjad Shacker, Corporate Communication GM at STC, commented: “Inspire U is an STC initiative to promote, support and develop digital startups and nurture and consolidate the startup ecosystem in the MENA region and create sustainable value. We believe that “to inspire is to empower” and we do that by providing the directions and tools to budding entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. STC strongly supports the launch of the GITEX Startup Movement and is proud to co-present the top tier prize of the event to the best global startup.”
“The need for local and regional startup ecosystem consolidation, learning from global best practices, and exposure to global investment network, is imminently evident. STC considers GITEX Startup Movement addressing this need; it will help regional players to learn and mature as well as expose them to the global buyers and investors. STC will showcase the achievements of InspireU by showcasing its incubatees, connect them to the broader network, attract future deal flow and share the roadmap for the future. STC is participating in the Global Startup Movement to inspire and be inspired,” said Shacker.
Eric Morand, Director of Tech & Innovative Services Division at Business France, said: “Business France, as a loyal exhibitor of the GITEX Technology Week, is very happy to be part of the GITEX Startup Movement. We are certain that this new movement will gather regional startup ecosystem as well as well as the global startup ecosystem. This will be therefore, the perfect platform to introduce the French Tech initiative, which proved to be a success in events such as CES, Web summit, 4YFN, etc.”
The Arab world has a burgeoning youth demographic. More than 60 per cent of the 350 million population is under the age of 25. Young millennial Arabs are online, mobile, using technology and becoming entrepreneurs with the strong support of government initiatives. The UAE leads the way in the region on revolutionary smart cities transformation and diversification of economies.Across Middle East & Africa, entrepreneurs are at the heart of the digital revolution as ICT spending increases across the region.
“Startups from all over the globe, women, youth and Arab entrepreneurs are a very real force of change that is making a positive impact in our society. They need supportive ecosystems to nurture and enable their growth and success. GITEX Technology Week has a strong legacy as one of the leading international tech events and is uniquely positioned to turn the spotlight onstartups. With a force of 146,000 technology professionals and 22,000 C-suite executives at GITEX, Startups gain immediate access to a powerful industry network and massive technology marketplace, entry into growth markets in Middle East &Africa,and canfuture-proof their business plans, products and services.” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.
“The Tesla Foundation is proud to be a part of the GITEX Startup Movement. The foundation is focused on building bridge between private and public organizations to create new technologies and companies and the Middle East & Africa present a unique opportunity. As a science and technology Foundation focused on robotics and automation, 'Cyber-Physical Systems,' GITEX enables us to expand our network by connecting with innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies”, said Keith Kaplan, CEO Tesla Foundation.
The public sector in the UAE is already committed to facilitating a conducive environment for entrepreneurship through its AED 2 billion knowledge fund, which is part of the country's National Innovation Strategy, and aims to accelerate the startup movement towards a sustainable knowledge-based economy. Further positive announcements such as the establishment of venture firm 500 Startups' US$30 million fund in the Middle East and North Africa, Uber's US$ 250 million investment in the region and homegrown UAE startup, Souq.com who recently secured US$ 275 million investment to be the highest valued internet company in the Middle East,are testaments to rising MENA entrepreneurship scene where vibrant and growing economies present untapped and unchartered opportunities.
The Middle East, through its early adoption of emerging and next-gen technologies is poised to benefit from the global industrial shift and startup organisations in the region are well positioned to become innovators and leaders. The regionis already projected to spend around US$60 billion on 3D Printing, Robotics, Drones, Digital Marketing and Smart Living/Wearables by 2020. As the Middle East embarks upon rapid transformations towards Smart Cities, the demand for innovative solutions is ever increasing. GITEX startup movement will connect entrepreneurs with key government buyers, VCs, angel investors, seed capital and mentors from around the world.
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