9 Startups Shine at the MITEF Arab Startup Competition

Alexis Baghdadi, Apr 20 2016

This year, the ninth Arab Startup Competition, organized by MIT Economic Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab, was the biggest edition of the event to date. Close to 6,000 individuals and teams from 21 Arab countries applied for the competition, up from 4,275 in 2015.

Shortlisting 76 applicants for the final phase was no easy task. The startups were divided into 3 categories: the Startups Track, the Ideas Track, and the Social Entrepreneurship Track. Eventually, 10 finalists from each track pitched their ideas to a panel of investors and industry leaders at the King Abdullah Economic City on April 14, 2016.

The winning teams hailed from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.

And the winners are…

Startups Track

Winner - $50,000: Ghinwa (Kuwait)

The Ghinwa mobile app can be used by users to perform Karaoke where songs are licensed from the copyright owners to ensure legality, allowing users to share and promote their talents across different social media platforms.

2nd Place - $15,000: Zamen (Egypt)

This mobile app delivers real-time news feeds, filtered to display only the topics that users are interested in.

3rd Place - $10,000: B8ak (Saudi Arabia)

This app-based centralized platform facilitates ordering home maintenance and repair works via a network of professional providers. B8ak also won 3rd place in the Startup Demo competition at ArabNet Riyadh 2015.

Social Entrepreneurship Track:

Winner $15,000: Hydropneumatic Flushing System (Tunisia)

This startup has developed an economic water flush that does not leak and that withstands frequent use.

2nd Place - $10,000: Pathfinder (Lebanon)

Pathfinder is an app and hardware-fitted belt that allows visually impaired individuals to navigate safely indoors and outdoors. The founders won 3rd prize in last year’s Hyundai Startup Competition organized in collaboration with ArabNet, and were also finalists at the ArabNet Beirut’s 2016 Innovation Avenue.

3rd Place - $5,000: Cost-Effective PPC Prosthetic Leg (Jordan)

Young Jordanian inventors have developed a prosthesis that offers great mobility while remaining affordable to a larger number of people.

Ideas Track:

Winner - $15,000: Tutorama (Egypt)

Tutorama is a platform that connects students with private tutors.

2nd Place - $10,000: Deep OR (Morocco)

This software solution provides data analytics and operations research to help make quick and educated resource allocation decisions.

3rd Place - $5,000: Ostor Lab (Morocco)

Ostor Lab has created a cloud-based mobile application vulnerability scanner to protect smartphone owners’ private information.

5 Innovators under 35

The competition was supported by Community Jameel and Zain. Before the final pitches, MIT Technology Review Arab Edition held the Time to Invest in Arab Youth and Their Innovations Conference, during which it announced the Top 5 Innovators under 35 in the Arab world:

Ahmad Alfadhel – King Abdullah University for Science & Technology (Saudi Arabia)

Eve Tamraz - White Lab (Lebanon)

Jean Nehme - Touch Surgery (Lebanon)

Osman Baker - King Abdullah University for Science & Technology (Saudi Arabia)

Yaman Abou Jeib – Glean (Syria)

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