By Adelle Geronimo / Tahawul Tech
As part of the third Emirati Tech Boot Camp, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, organised a demo day to give participating teams an opportunity to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of experts.
The winner Aysha Al Hemrani, who came up with her disruptive concept of ‘Mnawrah’, a marketplace for instant, personalised, and culture-specific ecards, was awarded free company setup and a desk space at DSOA’s wholly owned Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest hub for tech startups and entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
The third Emirati Tech Boot Camp, organised in cooperation with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Emirates Foundation, ran from December 11 – 13, and on December 15 at Dtec. Open to Emiratis across various segments – students, professionals, entrepreneurs, as well as members of the public with an interest in technology, the four-day boot camp comprised various sessions hosted by leading industry experts, certified trainers, and technology entrepreneurs.
The event addressed the aspects of starting a tech venture, the workshops offered insights on product development, marketing and developing a customer base, leading and building a team, as well as pitching a business proposal to investors and ways to secure funding. The programme ended with the pitch competition.
Hans Christensen, Vice President at Dtec, said, “The implementation and reinforcement of a knowledge culture is the most essential and sustainable component for building a knowledge-based economy. At DSOA, we tap into every potential that helps spread the culture of knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship among young Emirati talents.
“More specifically, workshops and conversations that events such as the Tech Boot Camp host inspire participants to upskill their workplace competencies and challenge themselves to think differently. The platform also provides valuable insights into the fundamentals of developing a business proposition. We are confident the knowledge gained will enable our participants to make a major contribution to the growth of the technology sector in the MENA region through enhancing their individual aptitude and levels of competitiveness,” said Christensen.
Mohamed Al Hossani, Director of Programs at Emirates Foundations, noted the importance of entrepreneurial development in the UAE as part of the leadership’s vision to empower Emirati youth to take leading roles within the labor market. “The Foundation’s programmes are very much in line with the nation’s vision and focus on empowering the youth to understand and access the labor market through shaping viable and scalable enterprises,” he said.
He further emphasised the importance of private and public sector partnerships in creating opportunities for the youth and in supporting them with establishing their enterprises.
“The DSOA Emirati Tech Boot Camp is a prime example of how we can mobilise collective effort to empower our youth,” Al Hossani said.