African startups invited to apply for Dubai innovation competition


African startups have been invited to apply for the Innovation 4 Impact competition in Dubai, where digital economy entrepreneurs from around the world will compete for a chance to win cash and global publicity.

Applications close on August 15 for the competition, which will take place at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in October and is organised by the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and Thomson Reuters.

The Innovation 4 Impact Competition is designed to support emerging Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs from around the world in showcasing their businesses, as well as connecting with investors and customers, gaining access to expert mentoring, and competing to win cash prizes and in-kind benefits.

The winner of the competition will also receive free office space for one year at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre.

“Innovation 4 Impact signifies our commitment towards supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in the field of Islamic digital and Arabic content,” said Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of DSOA.

“The annual event strengthens DSOA’s proposition in supporting Dubai’s vision to emerge as the Capital of Islamic Economy. Innovation 4 Impact aims to empower Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs globally and to serve as a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their business ventures to a distinguished panel of experts, prospective investors, as well as prominent professionals in the Islamic economy domain.”

The competition provides value-added services for the selected entrepreneur including exclusive mentoring, access to leading investors in the region, as well as support to fine-tune their ideas.

In 2015, Innovation 4 Impact received 170 applicants from over 35 countries. Five entrepreneurs received the opportunity to attend and present their ideas at GIES 2015, while also gaining global media coverage, and benefiting from their participation in the sessions that helped them continue to grow and scale-up even after the Summit.

Applicant businesses should be in the following sectors: e-commerce, mobile computing, cloud computing, big data, hyper-converged platforms, and social media.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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