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Dubai Chamber Launches Fifth Cycle Of Dubai Smartpreneur Competition Dubai Startup Hub has launched the fifth cycle of its Dubai Smartpreneur Competition that seeks submissions from startups offering solutions related to the Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Dubai Startup Hub, the entrepreneurship arm of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has launched the fifth cycle of its Dubai Smartpreneur Competition that seeks submissions from startups offering solutions related to the Expo 2020 Dubai sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Open to all entrepreneurs in the UAE and abroad, the competition gives founders an opportunity to become part of Dubai Government's strategy to elevate the city into a global platform for innovative startups. This year's edition is also in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into one of the world's smartest cities.

The Dubai Smartpreneur Competition awards the top three winners a combined total of AED150,000 in cash prizes, in addition to a startup support package, mentorship opportunities, access to overseas trade missions, and Dubai Chamber events and trainings.

To be eligible to participate, a startup company's product or service must have launched no earlier than 2017 and either be based in, or operate in, the UAE. The startup needs to have a minimum viable product and applicants must be 21 years of age or older. Startups must submit their entries in English through the Dubai Startup Hub website by the February 26 deadline.

His Excellency Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, said in a statement that the annual competition has been one of Dubai Startup Hub's most successful initiatives to date, which has supported Dubai Chamber's comprehensive entrepreneurship strategy of empowering entrepreneurs and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive and grow.

More than 1,600 smart business ideas have been submitted over the last four cycles of the competition with an increasing number of international submissions, he said, reflecting Dubai's status as a magnet from promising startups.

H. E. Al Shirawi added: "Startups are a key source of innovation in Dubai as they bring cutting-edge solutions to the market. By aligning this year's competition with Expo 2020 Dubai, we are creating more opportunities and benefits for participating startups and positioning Dubai as innovation leader."

This year's edition of the competition was launched on Sunday at a ceremony attended by Dubai Chamber officials, previous competition winners and contestants, members of the local startup community, and representatives from Expo 2020 Dubai and DP World.

Following the submission deadline, entries will be evaluated and shortlisted with the selected candidates then qualifying for the training phase of the competition. The top 50 startups will also get to participate in a four-day bootcamp, and the top 10 startups will have the opportunity to exhibit at Expo 2020 Dubai to meet with potential investors and business partners. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in April 2020.

Last year's winners included Denarii Cash, a mobile application helping overseas workers to send money claimed the first place prize, Arabee, a high specification platform providing an online multi-format Arabic language programme, and Xpence, a digital-only intelligent business bank account designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.

Applications for Dubai Smartpreneur Competition 5.0 are now open. For more information click here.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Dubai Startup Hub Launches Revamped Market Access Program For Startups And SMEs

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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