54 hours challenge to build 8 startups in Ras Al Khaimah

The first startup incubator in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) was inaugurated last Thursday at Julfar Towers, in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Kayed Al Qasimi, chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development.

The Ras Al Khaimah Incubator and Accelerator focuses on innovation and technology. Entrepreneurs will have the choice to register their companies and establish a local company, or register with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zones (RAKEZ) and own a free zone entity.

This was announced during Startup Weekend Ras Al Khaimah 2017 which was held at RAK Incubator and Accelerator. The event hosted more than 100 entrepreneurs from the UAE and the region, all competing over a 54 hours challenge (No Talk All Action) to build eight startups.

“When we talk innovation, we have to talk about incubation,” said His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Shayeb Al Naqbi, DED director general.

The RAK Incubator and Accelerator aims to register 40 companies, 10 Emirati and 20 local and 10 International startups. The next step is a  tourism accelerator through different initiatives.

Three winners were announced yesterday. The Green Coin Team who won first place and will be incubated at RAK Incubator and Accelerator. "In over 54 hours we managed to create a functioning app, and an actionable business model," said Alex Rigaud, team lead.

Second place went to an Emirati team from Ras Al Khaimah, the Smart Moka team. They won an award for designing a prototype for a practical mug using the Internet of Things to heat coffee, keep water cold, charge mobile phones and work through a mobile app. "If you don't try and fail, you will never learn. This was an unmatched experience. I came with an idea to start an online bazar and then joined the smart moka team. During the weekend, we had a product, logo, a marketing plan and a business plan. We plan to continue working with RAK Incubator and Accelerator to come up with innovative startups,” said Ali Al Taniji from the team.

His Excellency Ramy Jallad, CEO at RAKEZ commented: “We’re very proud to be an integral part in encouraging and launching startups from Ras Al Khaimah, and we are thrilled about collaborating with RAK Incubation and Accelerator to bring the Startup Weekend event to Ras Al Khaimah. This presents a great opportunity for aspiring home-grown talents and entrepreneurs, to tap into mentorship and funding, helping them realise their dreams,”

Dr. Hisham Safadi, cofounder and CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Incubator and Accelerator said: ”This is a true partnership between public sector represented by DED and RAKEZ and a group of entrepreneurs to start an ecosystem in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah”.

“The idea started in Silicon Valley earlier this year, and was welcomed by the government of Ras Al Khaimah. Our soft launch was in April, and today we have 15 startups and early stage companies incubated before our official launch,” says Dr. Saif AlJaibeji, cofounder of the Ras Al Khaimah Incubator and Accelerator.

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