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Innovators Invited: Dubai Startup Hub Launches Fourth Edition Of Its Annual Smartpreneur Competition The competition is open to all entrepreneurs living in the UAE, and seeks to engage young entrepreneurs in Dubai's strategic initiatives.

By Megha Merani

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Dubai Startup Hub
H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi during the Launch event of the 4th edition of Dubai Smartpreneur Competiton.

Dubai Startup Hub has launched the fourth round of its annual Dubai Smartpreneur Competition.

The competition is open to all entrepreneurs living in the UAE, and seeks to engage young entrepreneurs in Dubai's strategic initiatives, and empower them to participate in the Dubai Government's strategy and plans to establish the Emirate as a prime international destination for innovative startups.

The competition, an initiative by the Dubai Chamber in collaboration with Smart Dubai, is in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to transform the Emirate into the world's happiest and smartest city.

H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber, noted in a statement at the launch event on Monday that the Dubai Startup Hub initiative was launched as Dubai Chamber became increasingly aware of the need to expand its support for entrepreneurs in the Emirate and further promote innovation. He added that the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition aims to empower young entrepreneurs, encourage them to think beyond traditional business models and limitations, engage them in the Dubai Government's strategy, and include them in the efforts to realise Dubai's vision for becoming a full-fledged smart city.

Candidates interested in participating in the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition are invited to submit their business ideas that resonate with Dubai's future-focused, technology-driven vision, which embraces advanced breakthroughs such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation. Applications will be evaluated by a judging panel of experts from Dubai's business and entrepreneurship community to select three winners, who will receive monetary prizes, in addition to training, support, and guidance to help them transform their ideas into concrete projects.

Related: Dubai Chamber's Essa Al Zaabi On Why You Should Launch Your Startup In Dubai

The competition's program includes a set timeline of training and guidance stages where candidates are introduced to the application procedure, as well as the its terms and conditions. Participants will then present their business ideas to be evaluated, the most promising of which will be shortlisted and receive further support. The final stage will see the top three candidates selected, trained, and guided before the final winners are announced.

Meanwhile, the launch ceremony for Smartpreneur included two panel discussions, one of which brought together winners and candidates from the competition's previous edition, including Ishita Sood, COO and Co-founder at WakeCap Technologies; Walied Al Bashir, Founder of Intuition AI; and Abdul Matheen Yousef, Founder of Airspace Blockchain Co. The second panel presented entrepreneurship experts in Dubai, namely, Rami Sarieddine, Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft; Perm Kamath, Director of Digital Experience and Strategy Leader at Ernst & Young; Tariq Al Zubair from OTC Supply; and Ian Norville, Head of MENA Division at Norbloc.

Entrepreneurship and innovation are key pillars of the Dubai Chamber's strategy, H.E. Al Shirawi said, reaffirming Dubai Startup Hub's role in attracting innovators from around the world to help Dubai's business environment stand out and establish it as the city of the future.

In 2015, Dubai Chamber launched its innovation strategy in line with its mission to represent, support, and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai. It has also been working towards supporting entrepreneurs through its Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development program, which identifies and develops the business ideas of Emirati entrepreneurs. Launched by Dubai Chamber in 2016, Dubai Startup Hub is the first of its kind initiative in the Middle East and Africa region, which, under the Smart Dubai umbrella, represents a unique partnership between the public and private sectors to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

To apply for this edition of Smartpreneur, head to: www.dubaichamber.com/dubaistartuphub/smartpreneur.

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-Based WakeCap Focuses On The Wellbeing Of Construction Workers To Improve Industry Productivity

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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