|05 December, 2019

Dubai teenagers launch a platform for startup ideas

Malik and Zia have partnered with major companies through their ThinkSmall-ThinkSmart startup

Image used for illustrative purposes. Epic journey of lights on Burj Khalifa's LED facade with new shows celebrating the marvels of nature and technology

Image used for illustrative purposes. Epic journey of lights on Burj Khalifa's LED facade with new shows celebrating the marvels of nature and technology

Emaar/Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya
UAE - A pair of Dubai teens have launched a competition that gives young aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their startup ideas.

The Global Entrepreneurship Challenge is being organised by Dubai College students Rayan Malik and Yousuf Zia, and the winning team will walk away with a Dh5,000 prize.

Malik and Zia have partnered with major companies through their ThinkSmall-ThinkSmart startup to launch this competition. Participants are required to present ideas in one of the four categories - education, technology, health and sports and environment.

There will be three rounds, starting with the online submission, then a pitch presentation in front of a panel of judges, followed by the grand finale on April 18, 2020.

"Before launching this initiative, I was somewhat doubtful about whether there was enough demand among students to create their own product and enter it into competitions," Zia said. "Thus, Rayan and I created the first Dubai Entrepreneurship Society in Dubai College, to provide us with an understanding of whether enough students are interested in entrepreneurship.

"Much to my surprise, 40 students turned up to the first session after school on a Thursday. Every single student had a business idea that they had been developing for months, yet they all had the same common issue - there was no platform in place for students to showcase their ideas and execute them."

Malik said: "Supporting these entrepreneurs, whether it be through prizes or media recognition, is essential in developing a community of entrepreneurs because they will shape the future of this world. Moreover, by providing support, other young students will believe that there is an opportunity for them to make an impact.

"Having spent the last 10 years in Dubai, both Yousuf and I were accustomed to the idea that it is impossible to create your own business in this region if you are under the age of 18. However, due to support from large companies and with media recognition, students will soon be able to take their innovative ideas and turn them into a reality."

Each team must consist of one to five people and students have to be between the ages of 11 and 18 years. Registration can be done online on www.globalentrepreneurshipchallenge.com for round one and the deadline is December 31.

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