Zain partners MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to hold virtual startup competition

Published: 24 June 2020 - 10:50 a.m.

Kuwait based international telco, Zain Group, has confirmed its digital partnership with the 2020 edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab Startup Competition.

This will be the sixth year in a row that Zain has partnered the region’s leading startup competition, which has produced numerous successful ventures over the years.

Due to the current ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, the decision was taken to make this year’s competition an exclusively online setting.

This year, the MITEF Pan Arab Startup Competition has received over 4,000 applications, with Zain joining other distinguished organisations including Community Jameel (Main Partner) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Innovation Partner) in partnering the competition this year.

“We all are truly excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Zain Group for our first all-digital competition. It is through such partnerships with transformational players in the digital ecosystem that we can overcome the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic. In times such as these, we are only as strong as the entities we cooperate with, and we are proud to have established lanes of synergy over the course of 13 years organizing the MITEF Arab Startup Competition. I want to take this opportunity to invite everyone to join our upcoming virtual conference on June 24, which will mark a turning point in all our future programs and initiatives,” said Maya Rahal, managing director of MITEF Pan Arab.

In total, 53 semi-finalist teams across the three tracks are through to the semi-finals of the competition (16 semi-finalists in the Ideas track, 21 in the startups track, and 16 in the Social Entrepreneurship track). This year, the semi-finalists hail from Saudi Arabia (nine participants) Egypt (nine), Jordan (seven), Lebanon (six), Bahrain (four), UAE (four), Tunisia (three), Palestine (two), Morocco (two), and one semi-finalist from Algeria, Germany, Luxembourg, Qatar, Syria, Turkey and the UK, respectively.

Included in the semifinalists are six winners from Zain Jordan's 'Zain Al-Mubadara' competition, with the main industries that most of the 53 semifinalists are operating in are Education Technology, Consumer Services and Productivity Apps, Digital Technologies, and Construction/Engineering.

The virtual competition will see all semi-finalist teams face a panel of judges remotely, to pitch and answer any questions about their business models, value propositions, and growth plans. All teams will also receive an intensive remote training session organized by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology.

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