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GITEX 2016 launches new startup movement

Gitex1GITEX Technology Week will launch and host GITEX Startup Movement, a startup gathering which will host over companies from 30 countries, bringing together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, mentors and buyers for the first time in Dubai.

The GITEX Startup Movement will convene over 400 startups and more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors and mentors from the global startup ecosystem. The exclusive set-up will highlight the most innovative startups around the world and provide them a platform to sell, form partnerships and attract investors. Participants will also be able to pitch for prizes, attend an interactive conference to address challenges faced by entrepreneurs and meet leading industry figures. The initiative has already garnered interest and momentum from supporters across the globe including Business France, Cross Trade agency in Singapore, Digi Robotics in the UAE, Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Japan’s Jetro agency, Marco Trade Export in Morocco, Star Systems agency in Iran and STC from KSA.

Amjad Shacker, Corporate Communication GM, STC, said, “InspireU is an STC initiative to promote, support and develop digital startups and nurture and consolidate the startup ecosystem in the MENA region and create sustainable value. We believe that “to inspire is to empower” and we do that by providing the directions and tools to budding entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. STC strongly supports the launch of the GITEX Startup Movement and is proud to co-present the top tier prize of the event to the best global startup.”

“The need for local and regional startup ecosystem consolidation, learning from global best practices, and exposure to global investment network, is imminently evident. STC considers GITEX Startup Movement addressing this need; it will help regional players to learn and mature as well as expose them to the global buyers and investors. STC will showcase the achievements of InspireU by showcasing its incubatees, connect them to the broader network, attract future deal flow and share the roadmap for the future. STC is participating in the Global Startup Movement to inspire and be inspired,” said Shacker.

The Arab world has a burgeoning youth demographic. More than 60 per cent of the 350 million population is under the age of 25. Young millennial Arabs are online, mobile, using technology and becoming entrepreneurs with the strong support of government initiatives.  The UAE leads the way in the region on revolutionary smart cities transformation and diversification of economies. Across Middle East and Africa, entrepreneurs are at the heart of the digital revolution as ICT spending increases across the region.

“Startups from all over the globe, women, youth and Arab entrepreneurs are a very real force of change that is making a positive impact in our society. They need supportive ecosystems to nurture and enable their growth and success. GITEX Technology Week has a strong legacy as one of the leading international tech events and is uniquely positioned to turn the spotlight on startups. With a force of 146,000 technology professionals and 22,000 C-suite executives at GITEX, Startups gain immediate access to a powerful industry network and massive technology marketplace, entry into growth markets in Middle East & Africa, and can future-proof their business plans, products and services.” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.

“The Tesla Foundation is proud to be a part of the GITEX Startup Movement. The foundation is focused on building the bridge between private and public organizations to create new technologies and companies and the Middle East & Africa presents a unique opportunity. We have been graced with the strength of government support and the burgeoning entrepreneur scene that is in the region. As a science and technology Foundation focused on robotics and automation, “Cyber-Physical Systems,” GITEX enables us to expand our network by connecting with innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies to include in the Tesla STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Farm System,” said Keith Kaplan, CEO Tesla Foundation.

The public sector in the UAE is already committed to facilitating a conducive environment for entrepreneurship through its AED 2 billion knowledge fund, which is part of the country’s National Innovation Strategy, and aims to accelerate the startup movement towards a sustainable knowledge-based economy.

Further positive announcements such as the establishment of venture firm 500 Startups’ $30 million fund in the Middle East and North Africa, Uber’s $250 million investment in the region and home grown UAE startup, Souq.com who recently secured $275 million investment to be the highest valued internet company in the Middle East, are testaments to rising MENA entrepreneurship scene where vibrant and growing economies present untapped and unchartered opportunities.

Delegates at the event, will also have the opportunity to visit country zones and showcase pods that will feature the most exciting startups offering drones & robotics; IoT, AR, VR & AI; finance; retail; healthcare; education; energy; travel & hospitality; media & marketing; and transport & logistics, to name a few.

GITEX Technology Week is expected to attract more than 146,000 visitors from over 140 countries, including 22,000 C-suite executives and 3,500 exhibitors from 55 countries.

GITEX Technology Week will be held on 16th to 20th October 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

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