Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has launched the third edition of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition in partnership with Smart Dubai, which gives startups and entrepreneurs in the UAE an opportunity to become part of Dubai Government’s Strategy to elevate the city into a global platform for innovation-focused businesses.
The announcement was made during a special launch event that was recently held at Dubai Chamber’s headquarters and attended by members of the emirate’s business and startup communities.
This year, the competition is seeking business ideas in three categories, namely – Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges that will select the submissions offering the most potential.
Participants who reach the final round of the competition will receive access to workshops, sector-specific training, mentorship and networking opportunities. The top three winners will receive cash prizes and the chance to participate in other entrepreneurship development programmes and initiatives offered by Dubai Startup Hub.
During the launch event, His Excellency Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, highlighted Dubai’s ambitious plans to become one of the world’s smartest cities, and explained that the competition offers an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs to support Dubai’s vision and turn their business ideas into a reality.
He noted that since its launch in 2016, the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition has succeeded in meeting its objectives of identifying and developing innovative ideas that have the potential to improve the local business environment and the wider society, adding that interest and participation in the competition has grown considerably over the last few years.
H.E. Al Shirawi explained that the competition falls in line with Dubai Chamber’s comprehensive entrepreneurship strategy that aims to empower entrepreneurs and startups through various programmes, initiatives and events organised under the Dubai Startup Hub platform. He added that such initiatives nurture Dubai’s entrepreneurial eco-system and support Dubai’s vision to become a global innovation hub.
The event included a panel discussion that was joined by industry experts, including Vinay Chandran, Partner at McKinsey & Co. and leader of McKinsey Analytics in the Middle East; Tarek Mohammed, Chief Compliance Officer at OTC Supply; and David Martínez de Lecea, Chief Operating Officer at Narrativa, who shared their insights on the adoption of blockchain, artificial intelligence and other innovative technologies in Dubai, and offered practical advice for startups operating in these fields.
Former finalist Avira Tharakan, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Docs Wallet, also spoke during the event, sharing his experience of participating in the previous edition of the Competition and highlighting the unique advantages it provided to his startup.
Established in 2016, the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition complements Dubai Chamber’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation within Dubai’s business community.
Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an interactive 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.