Intel launches Arab Technology competition

Chip giant joins forces with Arab Science & Technology Foundation on business initiative.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  August 7, 2007

The Arab Science & Technology Foundation (ASTF) and Intel Corporation today announced the launch of the Second Arab Technology Business Plan Competition. The competition has been set up to encourage Arab entrepreneurs and graduates to develop technology-based start up companies, and to provide capital and investment opportunities for the winning business plans.

The competition, which is in its second year, looks to attract business plans from entrepreneurs and from universities, to develop technology-led business opportunities with regional and global market potential. The winning business plans will receive a cash prize from ASTF, and will also be sponsored to participate in the Intel & UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge.

A panel of successful entrepreneurs, regional executives, investors, incubator managers and consultants will assess each business plan, and judge them on innovation, feasibility, return on investment, strategy, experience and other factors, with the emphasis on identifying real opportunities to build competitive companies that will develop technologies within the Arab world.

Last year's competition was won by Astroleap for its business plan based around streaming location sensitive data to mobile devices. The company, which received a $50,000 capital investment from ASTF, is now supplying solutions developed in Jordan to service providers in the US.

"The Arab Science and Technology Foundation, through this regional competition seeks to increase Arab investment in technology and promote entrepreneurship in the Arab world," said Dr Abdalla Alnajjar, president of ASTF. "The Second Arab Technology Business Plan Competition will create more awareness on potential opportunities in technology startups, recognise innovative and outstanding technology business ideas, plans and startups and increase investments in Arab technology start-ups by providing Arab investors with diverse & well selected group of start-ups to invest in."

Bassem Nasir, Higher Education Manager, Intel Middle East, Turkey and Africa commented: "As part of Intel's ongoing drive to promote Arab talent and endorse youth's entrepreneurial skills, Intel has joined a growing movement of multinational and Pan-Arab organizations that focus on raising the calibre of Arab youth and invest in the young entrepreneurs of the future.

"In order for Arabs to compete globally, they must start focusing on innovation and education. Under the Intel World Ahead Program, we are committed to educating youth and enhancing their entrepreneurial skills, as this will translate into long-term benefits for the community. The idea is to help develop a more competitive IT workforce capable of driving innovation and economic growth in the region," Nasir added.

The first stage of the competition for submission of entries will close at the start of September, with the final round of the competition set for December.

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