Fostering Innovation: Ras Al Khaimah Plays Host To Seaside Startup Summit UAE 2018
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Running from February 8-12 2018, the first Seaside Startup Summit UAE was held at Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, which was an 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, and co-organized by Young Arab Leaders (YAL), managed by Jennifer Mapa. The event gathered 500 participants, which included 300 startup owners and 50 investors.
The summit kicked off with an opening address by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, with the summit’s panel discussions centering around smart cities, Internet of Things, social impact and more. The five-day event featured CampFire Talks, a business forum set by the sea, encouraging participants to delight in nature and entrepreneurship, as well as workshops, fireside pitches, and investor networking and mentoring sessions. Aligning with the UAE Innovation Month in February 2018, the summit was aimed to exhibit the UAE and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as a hub for SMEs, startups, investments, trade angel investors, venture capitalists and other parties all over the world.
With the judging panel including Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director, Young Arab Leaders, the startup pitching competition welcomed over 50 startups from 12 countries, with a prize fund of more than US$40,000. In the Big Battle category, AgroWave takes first place with $7,000, while Autochain takes second place with $5,000, and VR-zone takes third place with $3,000. In the Seed Battle category, Faylasof wins first place with $5,000, Infinity Leather taking second place with $3,000 and DAFA taking third place with $2,000. In the Brand Battles category, in the AR/VR group, truMaps wins $4,000, while in the social impact group, Ligaro wins $4,000, followed by AgroWave taking $4,000 in the eco-millennia group, and Autochain winning $4,000 in the IoT and smart city set.
Some of the speakers included Saif Al Jaibeji, co-founder of RAK Incubator & Accelerator, Mai Medhat, founder of Eventtus, Erkki Aaltonen, Executive Director of startAD, Omar Al Hadidi, Senior Curation Manger of Eureeca, Morrad Irsane, co-founder of Melltoo, Medea Nocentini, co-founder and CEO of C3-Consult and Coach for a Cause, Jean-Michel Gauthier, CEO of InternsME and YAL Member, Christos Mastoras, Managing Partner of lliad Partners, Yousef Hammad, Managing Director of BECO Capital, and more. Community partners included InfoFort, Tarjama, Ureed, InternsME and G (NGO).