Fostering Innovation At The First-Ever Seaside Startup Summit UAE – February 8 to 12
DateFeb 12, 2018
H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, opened on February 8, 2018 the first Seaside Startup Summit UAE in Al Marjan Island, the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah which lasted five days from February 8 -12. The prize money pot was a total of $50,000 divided among the top three winners. ‘Seaside Startup Summit – UAE’ was an initiative as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Startup Armenia Foundation and ‘Techtown’ – Ras Al Khaimah Incubation and Accelerator – headed by Dr. Hisham Safadi, co-organized by ‘Young Arab Leaders’ managed by Jennifer Mapa. The summit garnered over 500 participants, speakers, and investors together over five days and was a unique platform for 50 vibrant startups from 12 countries to compete for top honours. Organized in an innovative way, moving away from traditional event formats, the summit was arranged in a form of a unique ‘Tent-Camp’ business forum set by the sea and enabled the participants to explore simultaneously the beauty of nature and entrepreneurship. It bolstered the formation of lasting bonds and connections among entrepreneurs, speakers and investors by bringing together talented minds to solve some of the most pressing real-world challenges. The summit was aimed at showcasing the UAE and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as a destination for investment, trade, angel investors, venture capitalists, and other parties from all over the world. H.E. Mr. Gegham Gharibjanian, Ambassador of The Republic of Armenia to the UAE, and numerous other ministers from Armenia were also part of the summit. Workshops, fireside pitches, campfire talks and investor matchmaking sessions were key components all throughout the summit. Participants built their tent camps by the sea in Al Marjan island and collaborated over five days, also cooking their own food. High-profile speakers provided valuable guidance and mentorship to participants on various aspects of developing their ideas using compelling business models. Another highlight was a series of panel discussions Smart Cities, Internet of Things, Social Impact and others. Among the speakers at the summit were Jean-Michel Gauthier, YAL Member and CEO of InternsME, and Medea Nocentini, Co-Founder and CEO of Consult and Coach for a Cause; while community partners included InfoFort, Tarjama, Ureed, InternsME and G (NGO), with investors including Christos Mastoras, Managing Partner at lliad Partners, who was also part of the startup battle jury. The evening of the final day saw the most awaited moments – the announcement of winners. Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director of Young Arab Leaders, was part of the judging panel deciding on the top three pitches. A startup called ‘Agrowave’ which focuses on incorporating technology to enhance farmers’ lives won the 1st place with $7,000 prize. The 2nd place went to blockchain-based ‘Autochain’ with $5,000 prize which addresses the issue of car scams by leveraging the power of blockchain, while the 3rd place was grabbed by ‘VR-zone’ with $3,000 prize. YAL is a non-profit organization which fosters collaboration and engagement between young arab talent and industry leaders through mentorship and education programs. We help young entrepreneurs and university students leverage the possibilities around technology to make a positive social impact on the future of the Arab world. February 2018 is widely renowned as the ‘Innovation Month’ in the UAE. Seaside Startup Summit UAE, being the first-ever international outdoor startup event to be organized in the country, was named as the Flagship Event for Innovation by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah due to its pivotal role in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem while promoting the emirate as a trade and tourism destination.