Tatawwar, Potential.com announce winners of 2020/2021 innovation programme

Tatawwar brought to you by HSBC in partnership with Potential.com is supporting the next generation of social innovators
Tatawwar brought to you by HSBC in partnership with Potential.com is supporting the next generation of social innovators

Dubai - Three youth winners announced during the Tatawwar online awards ceremony are taking home cash prizes and support for their business ideas

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Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Wed 7 Apr 2021, 4:00 PM

Tatawwar from HSBC and Potential.com have announced the winners of the 2020/2021 programme, which drew the participation of over 5,000 students aged 15-18 years.

The first prize was awarded to Asma Bachir Bey from Algeria for her “P.V.M Supply”, a portable, affordable and accessible ventilator, working with both solar and battery power. The second prize was awarded to Amal Hamdi Mohammed Albadawi from Bahrain for her “Pharmabot” AI robot. The third prize went to Abdulmohsen Mohammad Alghanim from Kuwait for his “R 2 Filter”, a sink filter to recycle water.

Despite the challenges faced by the pandemic, the students took charge of their learning and engaged in the programme from across the Middle East and North Africa region. After months of blended learning, innovation design and prototyping, the 20 finalists competed for this year’s top three spots. The judges listened to 2-minute pitches from the 20 finalists and reviewed their prototypes and business models. The judges representing the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs in Bahrain, Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar, Ministry of Education in UAE, Zayed University, The British University in Dubai, Al Tamimi & Company and Global Ventures, provided diverse perspectives when evaluating the finalists’ projects.

“Education is a key component of driving long-term sustainable growth in economies around the world, which is why HSBC not only provides funding to companies but also supports the wider education ecosystem through programmes such as Tatawwar,” said Daniel Howlett, HSBC’s regional head of Commercial Banking, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “Students no longer expect – nor aspire to have – a job for life, and education must give them the tools to adapt and change throughout their future careers. Tatawwar helps students prepare for this future by giving them an opportunity to develop practical skills outside of the classroom.”

This year’s edition of Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds has seen a total of 5,051 students from over 1,800 schools across the Middle East and North Africa region, register in the blended learning programme. The Tatawwar team hosted live and online prototyping workshops for the shortlisted 245 students in each of the programme’s countries held 15 online semifinals sessions before choosing the top 20. The next rollout of the Tatawwar programme will commence in mid-September 2021.

The top 20 who competed in the finals included three students from Algeria, three from Bahrain, four from Egypt, one from Kuwait, three from Oman, three from Qatar, and three from the UAE. Over the past weeks, they went through an acceleration programme that included twice-weekly webinars to help project owners fine tune their pitching skills, and learn key business skills including financial projections, raising funding, future career fitness, technology trends and marketing.

Each webinar brought together international experts on each of these topics to help the students. In addition, each of the top 20 students were provided with four one-on-one coaching sessions and will get a one-year free membership to their local fablabs, where they can continue to develop their prototypes.

“Globalisation, climate change and the emergence of disruptive technologies mean that education must focus on building capabilities rather than specific skillsets. The individuals that will thrive today and in the future are the ones that are able to learn, apply and adapt rapidly. These are all fundamental aspects of Tatawwar and are why it is such an important programme,” said Sabrin Rahman, HSBC’s head of Sustainability for Europe and the Middle East.

The top three winners’ prototypes will be showcased at Expo2020 in Dubai and will also receive $9,500 in cash prizes. They will also be supported to crowdfund their projects and develop them further. The judges also recognised three other finalists from Bahrain, Egypt and Qatar with a special award for their commitment to scientific research, market research and innovative prototypes development.

Shadi Banna, CEO of Potential.com said: “I congratulate the over 10,000 students that have participated in Tatawwar to date, for taking charge of their learning and future. I’d like to thank the many stakeholders that have supported us and the students especially HSBC for their investment in this programme. This genuine commitment to sustainable development is what we need corporates everywhere to emulate. Empowerment thrives, when the various stakeholders work together as is happening in Tatawwar.”

Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds is an interactive online and face-to-face programme that brings together students aged 15 to 18, schools, parents and the business community to innovate for a sustainable future by addressing one of three United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Action, Human Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation.

Several of the Tatawwar previous winners have progressed with their projects. Samah Abdullah from Egypt has developed and released her first WMS App last year, which is available for download on the Google Play store and now expanded her team and launching the Arabic version.

The 2021 finalist, Rishabh Java’s Broccoli Brains project, an innovative treatment of ADHD that also boosts mental well-being has been featured in the press. He has also built another startup -Tangled, a global peer-learning community that is redefining skill building with gamification.

Omaima Mosharaf from Bahrain, another 2020 finalist created YouthWave MENA, aiming to be the largest youth-focused innovation hub in MENA, home for all youth-led businesses working towards smart, sustainable development in the region.

Sayeda Fatima competed with the idea BC Warriors giving access to a breast scan in an affordable, accessible and efficient way without the anxiety. She improved her idea and won Global innovation challenge 2019/2020 and Expo 2019 and 2020 edition and she is semifinalists for Microsoft imagine cup.


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