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Lebanese startup Spike wins GITEX Future Stars

App for diabetics takes the $100,000 top prize in GITEX Future Stars

GITEX Future Stars winners on stage at the event.
GITEX Future Stars winners on stage at the event.

Lebanese startup Spike has won the GITEX Future Stars Supernova Challenge, with its app for diabetics.

The startup won the $100,000 grand prize after beating 23 other startups in the pitch competiton.

Spike is a mobile assistant that helps diabetics better manage their illness. It monitors the patient's daily behaviour and jumps in with reminders and tips when needed about insulin, food and other condition-related activities. In addition to that, Spike stores the patient's data for further analysis and sharing with doctors and caregivers.

Spike's founder, 25-year-old Ziad Alame, was overjoyed to have won: He said: "I was very stressed before my pitch as the competition was tough, but I am so happy I made it as the winner. With the prize money we will invest heavily in advertising, growing the business, making it more solid. We'll also look at partnerships. Our plan is to go global."

The competition awarded winners across nine categories, with entrants selected from over 200 submissions from 40 countries.

The existing categories - Supernova Champion, GCC & MENA Startup, International Startup, Youth, and Female-led Startup, sponsored by Sharjah Business Women's Council - were increased with four new categories for Best Emirati, Best Social Impact, Best AI, and Best Scale Up startups.

AURA LAB from United Arab Emirates (UAE) won the title of Best GCC & MENA Startup. AURA LAB is a machine-learning perfume retail technology that helps retailers improve their retail experience and help consumers find a signature fragrance. Satellite Vu, a NewSpace company from London, are leading the charge in space-based technology to overcome the challenge of plastic pollution. They were named Best International Startup.

The award for Best Emirati Startup went to Khayati, a software that assists tailors in improving their communications and marketing with customers; Best Social Impact Startup was Labayh from Saudi Arabia, a mobile app that makes counselling easier by connecting individuals with psychologist by in-app messaging and in-app calling, while users remain anonymous; and Best AI Startup went to WideBot from the US, the first Arabic-focused bot builder platform.

The award for Best Scale Up Startup was won by Onesoftdigm from the Republic of Korea, a portable Body Composition Measurement device; Best Youth Startup was Oliv from UAE, an intern recruitment portal that helps university students and recent graduates in the UAE find internships, part-time jobs and graduate jobs and Best Female Led Startup was MAJ Solution from Lebanon, which provides construction and development companies with tools to predict potential early

Prashant K. Gulati, Managing Partner at The Smart Start Fund and a judge of the Supernova Challenge, said:  "It was a pleasure being a judge at the finals of the Supernova Challenge. We saw an exceptional array of diverse talent from all over the world. While a few were selected as winners, I would like to say thanks to all those who participated; they should continue pursuing the great job they are doing."

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars, said: "The Supernova Challenge is a life-changing platform that transforms the ideas of incredible startups to real-life experiences. All of our 200 plus entrants down to our 25 finalists were bold enough to put themselves forward for scrutiny by not only our esteemed judging panel, but by an audience of their peers. That takes immense bravery.

"Many of the emerging technologies we've seen this week will shape our future and the futures of our children. We're honoured to be a partner of these awesome startups that will go on to achieve big things globally. It gives us immense pride to be at the start of these magical journeys, and joy in contributing to some potentially amazing futures."