Kuwaiti Startup Ghinwa Shines At MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition 2016 The top spot in the event, the first prize in the Startup Track, went to Kuwaiti startup, Ghinwa.

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

MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition
Winning team of the Startup Track - Kuwait's Ghinwa

In a bid to create success stories for aspiring Arab entrepreneurs to emulate, the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition (MITEF), an event promoting entrepreneurship in the Arab world, concluded its ninth edition on April 14, 2016, awarding nine winning ideas across its three tracks, Ideas, Startups and Social Entrepreneurship. 76 teams from 15 Arab countries participated in the contest, with the winning teams picked by a jury comprising of reputed business leaders and Arab entrepreneurship ecosystem partners. The top spot in the event, the first prize in the Startup Track, went to Kuwaiti startup, Ghinwa. The startup bagged US$50,000 for its mobile application that allows users to perform karaoke and promotes protection of Intellectual Property Rights by using licensed songs from copyright owners. Egypt's Zamen –an app curating news and offering it in the Arabic language- came in second, and Saudi Arabia's B8ak, an app to book service providers/handymen, was in third place.

Speakers and jury for the competition included HRH Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, Deputy Governor of Investment Affairs, SAGIA, HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, founder and CEO, Alf Khair, Fady Mohammed Jameel, President, Community Jameel International, Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Zain Group, Wissam Younane, Director of Entrepreneur Middle East, and others. Representatives of leading business houses like Google, Facebook, Oak Investment Partners, 500 Startups and MBC Group also judged the youth talent and shared their insights. MITEF said that it received 5,967 entrepreneur applications for this year's challenge, a noticeable rise from 4,275 entrepreneurs who applied last year. The organization also claims to have witnessed a record participation of over 16,500 entrepreneurs, up from 12,000 last year. The competition was accompanied by the Time to Invest in Arab Youth and Their Innovations conference, organized by MIT Technology Review Arab Edition. The event made the case for the business world to invest in Arab youth, and also recognized the efforts of five "innovators under 35" in the Arab community. Community Jameel and the Zain Group partnered for the event, which was supported by Economic Cities Authority, King Abdullah Economic City, and Huawei.

2nd Runner Up Baytak from Saudi Arabia -Image credit: MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition.


Ideas Track

  • First place Tutorama from Egypt
  • Second place Deep OR from Morocco
  • Third place Ostor Lab from Morocco

Social Entrepreneurship Track

  • First place Hydropneumatic Flushing System from Tunisia
  • Second place Pathfinder from Lebanon
  • Third place Low Cost PPC from Jordan

Innovators under 35

  • Ahmad Alfadhel, King Abdullah University for Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia
  • Eve Tamraz, White Labs, Lebanon
  • Jean Nehme, Touch Surgery, Lebanon
  • Osman Baker, King Abdullah University for Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia
  • Yaman Abou Jeib, Glean, Syria

Related: Come Together: Entrepreneurs From Emerging Markets Converge At Seedstars Summit 2016

Related Topics

Side Hustle

Getting Laid Off Allowed Him to Focus on His Sentimental Side Hustle. Now He's on Track to Earn Over $700,000 in 2024.

Alaa El Ghatit wasn't fulfilled at his day job. So he started LifeOnRecord to help people record memories and well wishes.

Business News

Airbnb Renter Discovers Hidden Door, Says Police Confirm There's a Secret Unit Upstairs With 'Surveillance': 'A Terrifying Experience'

One bride-to-be was in for a not-so-welcome surprise when she discovered a secret door in her Airbnb rental.


The Top 5 Strategies for Overcoming Naysayers in Business

Here's how you can handle naysayers with resilience and poise.

Side Hustle

20 Side Hustle Ideas for Summer 2024: Part Two

Here are 10 more side hustle ideas that will get you ready to make extra income this summer.

Business News

Woman Goes Viral After Recording Her Disastrous Call With HR After Being Let Go: 'They Tried to Gaslight You'

Brittany Pietsch posted a nine-minute-long clip of her firing from Cloudflare on TikTok, and it went viral. The company's CEO responded on X — and also went viral.

Starting a Business

A Decade In Review: Soukaina Rachidi Alaoui, Founder, RisalatComm

A look at the pluck and gumption that has defined Alaoui's journey from recognizing her passion for writing a decade back to her first foray as a full-fledged entrepreneur with RisalatComm today.