Winners of the MIT Enterprise Arab Business Plan Competition '12 Announced

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The winners of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition '11-'12 have been chosen. After winnowing the top 50 teams down to 14 Finalists, the final three were announced tonight at the final ceremony in Dubai.

First place: Butterfleye, a smart goggle for swimmers that displays heart rate and other metrics. Founder Hind Hobeika is a former Wamda Entrepreneur of the Week who spoke to us about the challenges of building a hardware product in Lebanon and how she gets inspired by having a community of entrepreneurs around her.

That support has continued while being a part of the MITEF competition, Hobeika says. "The support system that I've had through thtis competition has been amazing, one that I've never had before. The experience is life changing."

When asked what's next for Butterfleye, the plan is to proceed with product development, boosted by the prize, she says. "We're still going with the plan of locking in the design and heading into manufacturing, and we're counting down the launch to market. Winning the competition will allow us to do that a bit faster, and enhance our testing."

Right now, the company is having mahcine made prototypes tested by fifteen Olympic swimmers from the U.S. and New Zealand who are currently competing in London. The goal is to incorporate as much of their feedback into the final product as possible.

Second place: Qabila, an Egyptian media company that works to produce multimedia with a positive twist.

Third place: Silgenix, a silicon IP company that aims to improve battery life and facilitate the creation of cheaper and smaller technologies with its silicon product.

Stay tuned for more comments from the winners and judges.

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