What Should You Expect From Startup Weekend Dubai 2017? Hear From 2016 Alum, Asm3ni Founder Nour Attia

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

What does it take to change your life from student to entrepreneur?

Startup Weekend Dubai
A scene from SUW Dubai 2016.

For Nour Attia, founder of Asm3ni, just 54 hours. 

Last year, Nour was an Environmental Science major at American University of Sharjah, when she saw a poster advertising Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event where idea-makers work together to build a product and business, coached on by mentors and judges from the startup ecosystem. 

“At first, I didn’t think it was for me,” Nour admitted. “Because I didn’t have an idea to pitch, and, as my roommate Hanaa [Abdalla] pointed out, we had no prior connection to the business world. However, I realized that I had nothing to lose, so Hanaa and I followed our gut feeling, and registered for the event.”

On the first night, Nour and Hanaa pitched an idea they had for a product called Asm3ni. Ahmed, a developer who was attending the event, liked the idea and joined their team.

Throughout the 54-hour competition, the team of three went through with building a business around their idea, with the support of mentors, coaches, and key business partners, they worked on their business model canvas, their feasibility study, and developed their first prototype.

They pitched to a panel of judges on a Saturday evening at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), and to their surprise, they won first place! Winning the competition allowed them to have the resources to kick start Asm3ni into a company, and opened up the door to the priceless support, mentoring, and motivation from the Sheraa team.

The advice Nour now gives to young entrepreneurs is to simply “do it. Go through the challenge, there is nothing to lose, only heaps of experience to gain, and energetic and fun people to meet. Even if your idea is underdeveloped or not clear yet, the push you will get from this experience will help you sculpt it to perfection. It’s also a perfect place to create new connections and bonds for the future.”

Luckily, for a new group of entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend is back! The event will be running in Dubai this November 16-18, during the Global Entrepreneurship Week, joined by 200 other cities running their startup weekend chapter simultaneously across the globe.

Curious to see how far you could go in 54 hours? Register now at: go.startupweekend.org/swdxb17

Related: Are You Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur? Ask Yourself These Eight Questions