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Pitch Perfect: Dubai Startup Hub Hosts Emirati Pitch Training Workshop Under the guidance of entrepreneur, investor and lecturer Ahmed Abdulwahab, the participants received real-world feedback on their ideas and valuable advice on how to upgrade, scale or fine tune their innovations to appeal to investors.

By Megha Merani

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

It's not about whether you win or lose- it's about how you pitch.

That was the goal of the Emirati Pitch Training workshop held by Dubai Startup Hub at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce headquarters in July, with budding entrepreneurs from across the UAE coming together for the four-day event to learn how to best present their startup story and business idea to potential investors, partners and clients in future.

Under the guidance of entrepreneur, investor and lecturer Ahmed Abdulwahab, the participants received real-world feedback on their ideas and valuable advice on how to upgrade, scale or fine tune their innovations to appeal to investors. More importantly, they learnt how to back their proposals with research and financial projections, which in turn empowered the entrepreneurs to boldly and clearly state exactly what they want from backers.

The workshop motivated aspiring entrepreneurs as young as 18 with early stage entrepreneurial ideas to present their innovations and test them for customer validation. The final pitches were then judged by a panel of senior Dubai Chamber personnel, including Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector of Dubai Chamber, Natalia Sycheva, Manager of the Entrepreneurship Strategy department, and others.

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

From asking about expected returns and break even points, to questioning logistics feasibility, to offering advice on future scalability and diversification, the judges both grilled and guided presenters on how to strengthen their models and make them a successful Dubai startup story.

While not a competition, the most promising startups at more advanced stages of their journey earned special and thoughtful perks from the Dubai Chamber to give them a stepping stone to faster progress.

The biggest perk – free office space for a year located at Dubai Chamber headquarters– was won by cultural platform, Meet The Locals. Presented by co-founder Khadija Behzad, Meet the Locals was also one of the award-winning startups at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival in 2017.

The platform connects expats and tourists in the UAE to local citizens so they can interact and learn about each others' cultures with respect and understanding. It offers various tour opportunities to enjoy famed Emirati hospitality, authentic Emirati cultural experiences, along with open and honest conversations with UAE nationals.

Related: Doing Business In The UAE: What You Need To Know About Local Partners

Mobile application Mnawrah and e-commerce startup Baaqah were awarded an opportunity to showcase their respective platforms at GITEX Technology Week this year. Mnawrah is the brainchild of Emirati artist Aysha Al Hemrani. The mobile application is aimed at bringing back the nostalgia of customized online greeting cards. However, by using the app, you'll be able to enjoy and personalize the artwork of the independent Emirati artist for different occasions like weddings, meet up invites or even a simple post just to say good morning.

Meanwhile, if you've ever been frustrated with searching for which florist delivers in the location and timeframe at a reasonable price, then Baaqah is for you. Founded by AlReem AlAmmari, Baaqah literally translates to a package or a bouquet in Arabic. The e-commerce platform brings all the UAE's florists together in one place and let's you compare and choose before your order and have it delivered at your convenience.

Soul searching startup Visoul secured media coverage and support facilitated by the Dubai Chamber – a perk that will help the startup reach to intrigue and inform a wider audience. For anyone who has ever asked the question "who am I?" and attempted to go on a soul search, Visoul is designed to help you do just that. The "Visualizing the Invisible Workshop-In-A-Box" kit will give you the tools you need to find yourself and move on to the next chapter of your life.

Founded and developed by Osama Natto, this comprehensive kit includes step-by-step instructions, art supplies, diagrams, symbol cards, and a range of other thought-provoking tools that allow you to exercise your creativity and discover what your soul truly wants.

But this was not all- Dubai Startup Hub also offered to keep supporting all of the entrepreneurs and startups that were a part of the workshop, which included enterprises like Meekd, Green Life, and more. Keep an eye out for all of these names- these shining pitches could well turn into the next big startup story to come out of the UAE!

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 To Host Board of Directors Simulation Training For Entrepreneurs

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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