Under the auspices of Governor Sheikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, 24 projects from 16 Arab countries participated in Intel Business Challenge MENA 2014 award ceremony held on Wednesday, 3 September 2014 in Manama, the capital of entrepreneurship and Arab creativity for the year 2014.
This year featured 3700 project submissions from some of the most creative and innovative students and graduates from different universities across the Middle East and North Africa. The competing projects were of high standard and covered several technical and scientific fields. The Business Challenge seeks to foster entrepreneurship among university students, support innovative ideas across different technical and scientific fields, and use these ideas to build successful businesses, which would positively impact the society at large. The Challenge aims first and foremost to nurture a new generation of innovators, who are well equipped to face different societal challenges and develop successful and innovative solutions and projects for a better future.
Twenty four projects competed in the finals in Intel Business Challenge MENA 2014 in Bahrain, namely three projects from Egypt, three from KSA, three from Morocco, three from Tunisia, three from Jordan, two from Bahrain, two from Lebanon, two from Palestine, two from Algeria, and finally one from UAE.
All 24 participating teams received an extensive three- day capacity building program in Bahrain under the mentorship of the UNIDO Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment through the support of 14 experts. These experts helped the participants refine their ideas, create viable business plans with financial, technical, and marketing analysis to foster their entrepreneurial skills and prepare them for the finals.
At the end if the award ceremony, the top 4 winner projects were announced to join the other young entrepreneurs from around the world and compete at Intel® Global Challenge in Silicon Valley in November 2014, and the winner projects are as follows:
Winner of first prize was Vound project from United Arab Emirates
Winner of second prize was Stamina- Momkin project from the Kingdom of Bahrain
Winner of third prize was Plaze project from Lebanon
Winner of fourth prize was IES- Intelligent Educational System project from Egypt
“We deeply appreciate Intel’s choice to select Manama to host the Challenge award ceremony especially that Manama has been named the Arab Capital for Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the year 2014. We also extend our thanks to our partners in this Challenge, especially the Arab Thought Forum, the General Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce, and MENA Investment Center”, stated Dr. Hashim Hussein, Head of UNDIO ITPO / AICEI, the official host of the Challenge.
Dr. Hashim also praised the international and regional role of Intel in supporting entrepreneurs and fostering creativity and innovation across the Arab region. He stated that the UNIDO and Intel are currently developing a memorandum of understanding, according to which several innovation centers will be established in the MENA region to support and mentor Arab and African youth.
Eng. Taha Khalifa, General Manager of Intel MENA region said, “At Intel, we committed to promote education and innovation, though global programs that encourage innovators, and motivate visionaries to build a better future. Entrepreneurship and innovation are fundamental drivers of sustainable growth and have the potential to transform economies and improve people’s lives in this region. We collaborate with governments and educators from around the world to transform education, expanding local innovation initiatives, and applying state-of-the-art technologies to build capacity and inspire next generation of young innovators”.
“We are proud that the MENA Investment Center was an official partner in this Challenge and that the award ceremony has been successfully held in Bahrain” stated Mr. Ousamma Al Abssi, CEO of the Labour Market Reform Authority and Board member of the MENA Investment Center.
The Intel Global Challenge aims at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through motivating youths to develop innovative projects, which would lead to creates job opportunities, and help sustain economic growth.
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