“Challenge ME!” IoT competition winners announced
More than 70 Arab Youth projects participated in the Intel sponsored event
The winners of “Challenge ME!” an Internet of Things (IoT) competition for youth in the MENA region, have been announced.
The competition, organised by Intel, saw the project “Load Me” from the UAE taking home the first prize, “UB Card” from Palestine won the second prize, with the third prize going to project “Portable Neck Treatment Device” from Jordan.
The competition featured the participation of 70 projects from different Arab countries. The 19-member jury committee announced the top three winners from the 16 projects finalists.
“Challenge ME!” is an IoT Competition, held for the first time in the MENA region, led by Intel Corporation and in cooperation with several educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector and business incubators from all across the Middle East. The final stage of the competition was held in Beirut during a three-day workshop and training to improve the efficiency of the participating projects and help them achieve future success in their endeavours.
The Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, Boutros Harb, stated: “It is a pleasure to host in Beirut, for the first time, Intel "Challenge Me!", both the organisers and the new generation participants who enjoy the passion and skills to utilize technology, offering solutions that enrich our lives. Intel is multinational leading company and they always choose the best. I am confident that all of the ideas and projects participating in this competition has a unique value and I encourage them all to continue their journey to reach a global success. The Internet of Things technology promises a brilliant tomorrow for humanity and connecting people.”
“We would like to congratulate the winning projects for taking their first step on the path of success. In addition, we would like to congratulate our partners for the success of this competition to motivate and support talented youth, who have developed different innovative ideas, providing them with the opportunity to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Our support to Intel “Challenge ME!” is part of our Intel Innovation Initiative- INARA and which is part of our commitment to the region in inspiring the next generation of Arab innovators and fostering the growth of knowledge-base economy in the region.” said Eng. Taha Khalifa, Regional Director of Intel MENA.
Maroun Chammas, Chairman of Berytech, commented: “I am pleased to welcome you to the Regional Final Awards Ceremony of ”Challenge ME!” happening in Beirut for the first time, bringing passionate innovators from around the region to meet and showcase their technology projects, tapping into the rising technology trend of the internet of things. Together with key partners, Berytech is riding the Internet of Things wave and is committed to provide the Lebanese finalists the needed support of its ecosystem favouring their growth into successful entrepreneurs. Among all the technology trends that are taking place right now, one of the biggest rising sectors is the Internet of Things; it’s the one that’s going to give us the highest disruption over the next few years while creating pioneer opportunities in the tech field. The event presents an excellent platform to meet regional players and support networks and throughout a regional collaboration, we would be building the future of entrepreneurship and technology in the region”.
From his perspective, Joseph Ged, CEO of Ooredoo Algeria stated: “Ooredoo is proud to support the regional competition Challenge Me, promoting the rich innovative and creative potential of the youth across the Arab World. Ooredoo’s participation in this initiative is aligned with its strategy to provide the youth with exceptional opportunities to enhance their entrepreneurial spirit and develop their leadership particularly in the field of Information Technologies and Communication. Ooredoo will continue to implement its policy of encouraging young people because we believe that the future is built with them and around them and that any development policy is mainly based on knowledge and intelligence. I congratulate the winners of this challenge and wish them further success and achievements in the future".
Ooredoo Algeria joined Intel as a strategic partner in the competition. This competition was supported by several business incubators in the region, such as GLOW, Oobarmijoo, Oasis500, Berytech, TIEC, Esprit, and Intel IoT Lab. Several educational institutions and Arab universities promoted the competition among their students, such the Nile University, King Fahd University for Petroleum and Metals, American Arab University in Jenin, Birzeit University, Palestine Technical University, Palestine Polytechnic University, Sacred Heart University, and Petra University. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the MENA region also participated in the competition.
The competition finals took place at Berytech in Beirut, where participants presented their final projects in a three minutes pitch before the Jury and answered their questions. His Excellency the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications addressed the audience with his keynote followed by the announcement of the winning projects and the awarding of the top three winners.
The competition awarded the winners with USD 15000, divided on the first three winners. The first place with USD 7500 and the second place with USD 5000, and the third place with USD 2500, In addition to a special award to the best project developed using Intel electronic boards. In addition, both the first and second winners will have the opportunity to participate at “Intel Challenge Up!” Finals taking place in London, UK. An additional award by Intel offered to two of the participating projects to visit Intel IoT Ignition Lab in Dubai, UAE to enrol in a technology-training program. The partners presented other awards to the winning projects.