Being held under the theme ‘Harnessing Global Digitization to Empower Startups and SMEs’,AIM Startup witnessed the participation from several MENA companies including Darajtee, 360 Moms, Tarteeb, Takalam, Akyas from Kingdom of Jordan; Wakoo, E-pill Box, Go Diving, Ideabot, Diabetic Wound Detector from State of Kuwait; and Telpay, Zayr, Adeeb Kids, Pocket Carage, Fastmovers from Oman. In addition, companies from Lebanon included Formidable Industries, Groovy Antoid, Neotic, Lemonade Fashion, Lexyom and Augmental. Mutamer, Pick Logistics, Maya Clinics, Vigorous Antelope participated from Riyadh – Saudi Arabia and Firnas Aero, Bab Makkah, Men Wall, Tagit Games, Passioneurs from Jeddah – Saudi Arabia. Countries participating from Egypt included the likes of Garment IO, Epic VR, WideBot, ZeroPrime Can Waste, and VoXera, whereas the UAE witnessed the presence of companies as INVOIZ and several others.
These companies were selected during a roadshow pitch competition held in the region. The selected startups now have the opportunity to participate in the final pitch competition, where the best innovative minds in entrepreneurship will emerge as winner of the annual competition and receive $50,000 seed money to support their project on the last day of the event.
While 360 Moms focused on its unique bilingual content and mamas reward cards, Men Wall- a local brand of Saudi Arabia provided shaving and grooming products made out of organic products through a subscription model. A spokesperson from the company stated, “Start-ups are doing well in Saudi Arabia and the government is offering the right support. We are here at this platform to raise funds worth 300000 riyals.”
Another highlight of the competition was Taklaam- an app developed to help individuals who suffer from stuttering. The app makes use of an internal speaker and a hidden microphone, permitting individuals to speak more clearly. In addition, INVOIZ, a UAE based-mobile app that encourages the use of e-receipts over paper was another highlight of the event.
In addition, Augmentalan educational platform that uses artificial intelligence, Zayran online platform that helps travellers connect to local experiences and BabMakkah, an online platform that provides authentic and high-quality products from Makkah were some other key participants at the event.
At AIM Startup’s third edition, Khalifa Fund is also showcasing its innovative services and financing solutions for national SMEs. Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Khalifa Fund, said: “KFED is always keen to participate in such important events to interact with various stakeholders and meet local entrepreneurs and owners of innovative SMEs. Our participation in this year’s edition of AIM Startup is aligned with our commitment to engage with Emirati entrepreneurs and help nurture their potentials, falling in line with our endeavours to create a more sustainable, innovative, and integrated society in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Dubai South was another exhibitor at the global forum. Shoeb Alrahimi - Vice-President of the Business Park at Dubai South said, “80 percent of the companies with Dubai South are SMEs and to support SMEs in aviation sector we also waived fees for this segment. Our aim is to support young companies and our participation at the event is a testament of the same.”
AIM Startup has over the years been counting on the continued support of the public and private sector to provide much needed tools in learning and networking platforms for investors and entrepreneurs. On the national level, the support comes from National Program for SMEs and Projects, Sheraa, Sharjah Business Women Council, Khalifa Fund, Dubai South, Wamda, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and many more. From the international level, AIM Startup is highly supported by BIAC, Wadi Makkah, Monshaat, Mohammed bin Salman College and in partnership with Korean Trade Association, Indian SME Chamber, Switzerland’s Solar Impulse Foundation, and Brazil’s Mango Venture.