MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab announces semifinalist teams of the 13th Edition of MITEF Arab Startup Competition

● The 13th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is held in partnership with Community Jameel, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as Innovation Partner

● The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is MENA’s biggest and longest running startup competition, pitting innovators in three tracks: Startups Track, Ideas Track, and Social Entrepreneurship Track

● Semifinalists will receive an MIT-grade bootcamp training in March at KAUST, which should prepare the teams to perfect their pitches, improve their business model, learn about customer mapping, scale their ventures, improve their design thinking, and more. 

● Money prizes reach a total sum of $120,000; conference & award ceremony will take place in April 2019.


MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab announced the semifinalist teams who will officially be competing in the 13th edition of MITEF’s Arab Startup Competition.

The semifinalist teams are competing in one of three different tracks: Startups Track, Ideas Track, and Social Entrepreneurship Track. Each track had its own eligibility criteria, which took into consideration the level of growth, development stage, funding rounds, prototype status, among others.

Semifinalists will be participating in a bootcamp training, preparing the participants to perfect their business model, learn about customer mapping, scale their ventures, improve their pitching skills, and more. The bootcamp training will be taking place at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia on March 1-3, 2020.

This year’s semifinalist teams’ country breakdown is as follows:

- Egypt: 9 teams

- Lebanon: 6 teams

- UAE: 5 teams

- Bahrain: 4 teams

- Jordan: 2 teams

- Morocco: 2 teams

- Palestine: 2 teams

- Tunisia: 2 teams

- Qatar: 1 team

- Syria: 1 team

- Algeria: 1 team

- Luxembourg: 1 team

- Germany: 1 team

- Canada: 1 team

- USA: 1 team

- Turkey: 1 team

Commenting on the announcement, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said:

“As we enter the new decade, we anticipate that more Arab startups will lead the way in finding technological solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues like climate change, financial inclusion, social inequality, and water security. This year’s Arab Startup Competition semifinalists reflect the Arab ecosystem’s level of maturity and potential in impact-driven innovation. The competition has become the starting point to many of the Arab region’s success stories. This year it was particularly difficult to choose the semifinalists, especially with almost 4000 submitted applications in various industries and tracks.”    

Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel, International, said: We’re thrilled to announce the semifinalists for the 13th edition of MITEF Arab Startup Competition. Out of over 4000 submissions, warm congratulations to the semifinalist teams who will be advancing to the next round. Year after year, Community Jameel is proud to support the MITEF Arab Startup Competition that serves as a platform to celebrate the innovation and the impact that young Entrepreneurs can make to the Arab world economy.”

Dr. Kevin Cullen, KAUST Innovation and Economic Development Vice President commented: “Our mission at KAUST is to support entrepreneurs from across the Middle East through training, mentorship and access to funding and investor networks. We are excited to partner with MITEF Pan Arab - one of the most prominent and established entrepreneurship programs that has graduated some of the top startups in the region. Working together, this year we expect to support over 50 startups and offer them insight into the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Every application was thoroughly reviewed by 3 judges for content and evaluated according to their value proposition, innovation, impact, team, and business model.

The semifinalists were publicly announced in a blog post published on ‘Bracket’ (MITEF Pan Arab’s blog) on January 14 2020, on the Arab Startup Competition website, MITEF Pan Arab’s mobile app, and social media, including a brief description of each team.

The competition will culminate in a one-day event which will gather prominent speakers, thought leaders, innovators, mentors, judges, and entrepreneurs in April, 2020.