More than 175 applications received from over 35 countries
Popular categories include Mobile, E-commerce
Finalists are Connectloud Inc, Envision Business Consulting, Hajjnet FZE, OfferMoments, and Skolafund Pte Ltd
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Thomson Reuters, today announced the finalists of the inaugural 'Innovation 4 Impact' competition as well as the names of the jury panel that will select the winning entrepreneur on October 6 at the conclusion of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2015), at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
Five entrepreneurs in the field of digital technology and Arabic content, who successfully passed the two initial assessment rounds to make it to the finals, will present their ideas towards supporting Islamic digital economy and enhancing Arabic content during GIES 2015.
Silicon Valley technology executive Zeeshan Naseh, the first finalist selected, will showcase his Dallas-based company Connectloud Inc, a cloud hosting and cloud services software provider. The remaining four start-ups to make the cut include London-based Envision Business Consulting Ltd, led by Bashir Khairy, which specializes in revenue assurance and revenue management solutions for telecommunication operators worldwide; Hajjnet FZE, founded in 2012 in Dubai by Ali Dabaja known for the Salam app that currently serves over 500,000 users; Manchester-based OfferMoments, launched by Mohammed Abdul Alim, a mobile app developer that targets shoppers interested in learning about the latest retail offers, and SkolaFund Pte Ltd, a web platform to crowdfund higher education costs for the less privileged, represented by Muhammad Syakir Bin Hashim from Singapore.
The jury panel for the final round includes Dr Adnan Chilwan, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Bank Group, Badr Buhannad, Senior Vice President Strategy & ICT and Project Leader of Digital Islamic Economy at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Ihsan Jawad, Founder of Zawya/Honeybee Tech Ventures and well-known Arab television personality Muna Abu Sulayman, Partner of Directions Consultancy. Ideas presented are to be evaluated on criteria including innovation, economic and social impact, as well as scalability across markets and regions.
Commenting on the list of finalists, Badr Buhannad, Senior Vice President of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: "We are proud of all five entrepreneurs who have made it to the last round of the Innovation 4 Impact competition. Each of the projects offers a unique set of products that differentiates it from competitors in the industry. We look forward to announcing the winner tomorrow (on October 6) and welcoming the winning participant into DSO and our state-of-the-art incubational ecosystem represented by the DTEC."
He added: "DTEC will provide the winner with an immensely motivational environment to grow his business to great heights. This will enable the chosen entrepreneur to play a contributory role in the growth of the digital Islamic economy sector in the MENA region."
Managed collaboratively with the American Muslim Consumer Consortium and supported by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), the Innovation 4 Impact competition started accepting applications on June 29 from companies and entrepreneurs with potentially ground-breaking ideas or business ventures pertaining to e-commerce, mobile computing, cloud computing, big data, hyper-converged platforms, as well as new media and social media.
A wholly-owned entity of the government of Dubai, DSO operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises, medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai.
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), a 100% owned entity by the Government of Dubai is a free zone, strategically placed on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed road. DSOA's urban master-planned community spans 7.2 square kilometers of state of the art office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare and a full range of lifestyle facilities which translate into a dynamic commercial and social environment. Businesses can flourish under the unrivalled package of incentives, including 100% ownership, and high end IT infrastructure that allows companies to begin operating immediately. DSOA is a technology park that provides both a living and working integrated community.
For more information, please visit: www.dso.ae, or contact:
Mazen El Dirany
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority
Senior Associate Manager - Corporate Communications
T +971 4 5015102 | F +971 4 5015350
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.dsoa.ae/
Tel: +9714 361 3879 (Direct)
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