GITEX 2016 to support entrepreneurs
GITEX Technology Week runs from 16-20 October 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre
In October, GITEX Technology Week will become home to more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors and mentors as it plans to launch the GITEX Start-up Movement.
The launch aims to highlight innovative start-ups around the world and provide them with a platform to sell, form partnerships and attract investors. Participants will be able to pitch for prizes, attend an interactive conference to address challenges faced by entrepreneurs and meet industry figures.
The Middle East is already projected to spend around US$60bn on 3D printing, robotics, drones, digital marketing and smart living and wearables by 2020. GITEX Start-up Movement will showcase such technologies, as well as, the Internet of Things applications, next-generation technologies and digital marketing solutions that are expected to revolutionise the global economy by 2025.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, exhibitions and events management, Dubai World Trade Centre said: "The marketplace is wide open for disruption and innovation by both established technology providers and start-ups. Technology buyers are hungry to differentiate themselves from their competition. They are open to be early adopters of technology that can revolutionise their customer experience or open up new market possibilities in key industries such as retail, healthcare, education, finance, travel and energy."
The initiative has already attracted interest from Business France, Cross Trade agency in Singapore, Digi Robotics in the UAE, Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Japan's Jetro agency, Marco Trade Export in Morocco, Star Systems agency in Iran and STC from KSA.
The Arab world has a burgeoning youth demographic with more than 60% of the 350m population is under the age of 25. Young millennial Arabs are online, mobile, using technology and becoming entrepreneurs with the strong support of government initiatives.
The UAE leads the way in the region on revolutionary smart cities transformation and diversification of economies. Across Middle East & Africa, entrepreneurs are at the heart of the digital revolution as ICT spending increases across the region.
"Start-ups from all over the globe, women, youth and Arab entrepreneurs are a very real force of change that is making a positive impact in our society. They need supportive ecosystems to nurture and enable their growth and success," added LohMirmand.
The public sector in the UAE is already committed to facilitating a conducive environment for entrepreneurship through its AED 2bn knowledge fund, which is part of the country's National Innovation Strategy, and aims to accelerate the start-up movement towards a sustainable knowledge-based economy.
Further announcements such as the establishment of venture firm 500 start-ups' US$30m fund in the Middle East and North Africa, Uber's US$250m investment in the region and home grown UAE start-up, Souq.com who recently secured US$275m investment to be the highest valued internet company in the Middle East, shows how the MENA entrepreneurship scene is rising.
GITEX Technology Week runs from 16-20 October 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).