Gitex Technology Week to host global start-up meet

Gitex Technology Week to host global start-up meet
Ahmed Al Khaja, SVP of venues management at Dubai World Trade Centre, and other executives announce details of Gitex Technology Week in Dubai on Wednesday.

dubai - Event will put together world's brightest start-ups with big investors



By Staff Report

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2016, 5:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2016, 7:38 PM

The forthcoming Gitex Technology Week under the theme 'Re-Imagining Realities' will be its largest edition that will focus on smart digital transformation, support young entrepreneurs and enhance Dubai and the UAE's standing as one of the foremost capitals of innovation.

Across its largest-ever space of over one million square feet, organisers of Gitex expect over 100,000 visitors from 150 countries. The event will host 4,000 exhibiting companies and showcase 230 speakers.

Gitex has created the Gitex Global Start-up Movement - although only in its first year of inception, it is already the largest start-up event in the wider region.

Gitex aims to shine a spotlight on Arab and international innovation and entrepreneurship through this week-long showcase of global force, uniting young innovators from around the world to share, learn, experience and build lasting partnerships.

At the Gitex Global Start-up Movement, around 410 start-ups from 60 countries and over 1,000 entrepreneurs will gather in Dubai to sell and learn. While the UAE will be represented with 85 start-ups, 79 per cent of start-ups will hail from the rest of the world.

Funding for start-ups
Over 200 investors and influential tech investment executives from Silicon Valley, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including SoftBank Group International, 500 Startups, Accel Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners among others, will arrive in Dubai to explore, discover, evaluate and potentially fund some of the most promising start-ups with a particular eye on regional talent. The funding ventures of these investors include global giants Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify among others.

"Through Gitex, we want to create the life-changing opportunity for start-ups to meet face-to-face with legendary investors and accelerator firms, be it for funding support or advisory guidance that shall help them break through in their ventures. There is great aspiration and ambition among these young creative Arab minds to change the world with their imagination," said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of Gitex Technology Week 2016.

Speaking about Panasonic's participation, Shinichi Wakita, managing director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, said: "Gitex Technology Week is the ideal platform for us to showcase our products and solutions that help reinforce business efficiency. We are bringing exciting technologies and path-breaking products that will make perfect business sense in the field of visual display, smart communications and surveillance solutions."

AstroLabs Dubai is the only Google-partnered tech hub in the Mena region and Muhammed Meki, co-founder of AstroLabs, will be one of the judges for the 'Strut-Up' Pitch competition. Muhammed will share his experiences as a successful entrepreneur through mentorship sessions at the Gitex Global Start-up Movement.

"As an enabler of the regional start-up ecosystem, AstroLabs is partnering with Gitex to support these entrepreneurs on their growth journey," said Zaen Hamid, head of operations, AstroLabs.

Fourteen government-led start-up delegations will attend the Gitex Global Start-up Movement, including the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and United States. Egypt, Hungary, Japan, Morocco and Oman will bring start-up delegations to the GCC for the first time.

In the Gitex 'Strut-Up' Pitch Competition, start-ups will go head-to-head to take home $160,000 in prize money across categories including Best Gitex Start-up, Best Arab-Led Start-up, the Best Women-Led Start-up and the Best Youth Start-up.

- abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com


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