More than 250 start-ups are gearing up to participate in the AIM Startup Pitch Competition, which will be held on the fringe of the 10th edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2020), slated to take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 24-26 March.
AIM, the world’s leading investment platform, will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The AIM start-up pitch competition offers a great opportunity for start-up exhibitors to showcase their businesses and pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a jury of experts in the areas of business management, entrepreneurship and technology.
The pitching competition will enable start-up exhibitors to make the best use of the unique platform AIM offers them to connect and network with regional and international investors and businessmen during the three-day event. Winners will be rewarded with valuable cash prizes beside gaining key insights and advices to help them increase their chances of receiving seed funding for their start-up projects.
The promotional campaign has already started in many countries and concluded in the Czech Republic and Argentina. Next stop is Chile followed by many other countries starting from February onwards.
Dawood Al Shezawi, Chairman of Organising Committee of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2020), said: “AIM offers an opportunity for participating start-ups to increase their early stage venture capital or receive seed funding to start a business or expand its scope, given the crucial role start-ups play in strengthening new industries.”
“Entrepreneurs represent a significant segment of the market due to their innovation skills and the ability to meet workplace challenges. Therefore, we are eager to conduct this competition with an aim to infuse the spirit of hard work and perseverance among them, “he added.
Al Shezawi pointed out that latest figures and reports show an unprecedented rise in the number of startups that are expected to ensure economic growth and sustainability, which in turn could support 9.7 billion people by 2050. Start-ups will help investors seeking new projects for investment, as well as governments looking for start-up projects to boost the economy.
He noted that these figures support other findings revealing that not only start-ups have been flocking to the local and regional fintech sectors due to their promising growth prospects but that the UAE has remained a preferred destination for their operations as well regardless of their industries.
AIM Startup Award includes five categories spanning growth, which selects a start-up that has achieved the highest growth rate amongst all the start-ups that pitched. The second category is social impact used to select a start-up that has the most impact on the society using a sustainable and scalable business model that serves the society. Participating start-ups will be selected on the criteria of the best use of innovation. This category is meant to choose a start-up that has leveraged the latest technology in its business.
The climate and environmental impact category is to select a start-up that has the most impact in healing or protecting the environment, while the fifth category is privacy and data protection, whose award will be given to a start-up that is achieved the most scale in helping people or companies manage and protect their private data.
According to H1 2019 MENA Venture Investment Report issued by MAGNiTT, there is an increase of 66% in total funding for 238 investments worth $471 million, compared to 2018, which saw cash flow of $283 million pumped by regional start-ups. In terms of sectors, FinTech maintains its top position as the most active industry with 17% of the deals made, followed by e-commerce at 12%, and delivery and transport at 8%.
The report also shows that an increase of 30% was made by 130 institutions invested in MENA-based start-ups, compared to the same period in 2018, while the share of foreign investors from outside the Mena region amounted to 30% of the total investments registered in the period under review, like Endeavor Catalyst, Vostok New Ventures and Kingsway Capital.