The 7th MIT Enterprise Forum Arab start-up competition

Event overview

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  • Start date

    May 19, 2014

  • End date

    May 21, 2014

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Around 150 entrepreneurs with ideas, start-ups and businesses with a social impact from across the Arab region will converge in Cairo on May 20, 21, and 22 for the semi-finals of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Start-up Competition, in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI).

The workshop will be held on the campus of the collaborating American University in Cairo’s School of Business, and the winners will be announced at the Final Award Ceremony on May 22 at six pm, which will be open to the public and followed by a networking dinner.  

The first day of the workshop will include a discussion on crowdfunding opportunities for MENA entrepreneurs. Following this, entrepreneurs will learn about what investors look for when financing their start-ups. 

The second day will allow the entrepreneurs to focus on pitching. The one-to-one coaching will give the entrepreneurs the necessary guidance, and create a window for the organizations to pitch their services as well. Another highlight of the day is the’ Elevator Pitching Exercise’, engaging over 50 professionals from the local and regional business community, with the objective of giving the entrepreneurs the opportunity to practice their pitches and receive immediate feedback. The line-up of experts includes representatives from Strategy (Formerly Booz &Company), Google, Yahoo, TechWadi, and PepsiCo. This will ultimately prepare participants for the Final Pitches on the next day.

Starting at six pm at the American University in Cairo, the Final Award Ceremony which the public is invited to join, will commence with Final Pitches by the finalist teams of the Ideas and Start-ups Tracks, followed by the keynote speech by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA. The two panel discussions at the closing ceremony will focus on Arab success stories going global, and the significant rise of social impact in the Arab region.

Three winners from each, the Ideas and the Start-ups tracks, will be announced throughout the day. The first place in the Ideas track will receive US$15,000, and the winner of the Start-Ups track will receive $50,000.

Three women-led start-ups will also be rewarded and sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs. Another three start-ups proving the best social impact will each receive $10,000 from Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, Mercy Corps and Skoll Foundation.  

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