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 Two Bahraini teams among the semi-finalists in the Zain-sponsored MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition

  • 84 teams from 14 Arab countries qualify
  • In partnership with Community Jameel and Zain Group as a digital partner, and in collaboration with strategic partners Riyada and Omantel
  • Cash prizes exceed 160,000$; Final Award ceremony in Oman, 19 April 2018

Manama, Bahrain – 24 January 2018: The MIT Enterprise Forum (MIT EF) of the Pan Arab Region announced the semi-finalists of the 11th edition of its competition, including two teams from Bahrain. A total of 84 teams from 14 Arab countries are set to compete in the final round of the MITEF Arab Startup Competition in Oman on April 19. Zain Group has been the competition's digital partner for the last 4 years alongside Community Jameel, which has been a founding partner for 10 years. Local strategic partners in Oman include Riyada and Omantel.

The competition includes three tracks – Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship, with respectively 26, 34 and 24 semi-finalist projects in each. The Bahrain finalists include the Glare team competing in the Ideas track and DualNetworks SA competing in the Startups track. Cash prizes exceeding USD 160,000 will be distributed among nine lucky winners, three per track. Beyond the cash prizes, all 84 semifinalists will benefit from advanced training sessions, personal mentorship and guidance, as well as media visibility, and excellent networking opportunities. The semi-finalists hailed from 14 Arab countries, as follows: Lebanon (20), Egypt (14), the UAE (10), Saudi Arabia (9), Jordan (7), Palestine (6), Morocco (4), Tunisia (6), Bahrain (2), Sudan (2), Kuwait (1), Qatar (1), Algeria (1) and Oman (1). This year's edition received more than 5,300 applications, representing a range of sectors, including Internet services, software, education, healthcare, and creative industries.

Zain Bahrain General Manager Mohammed Zainalabedin said: "The MITEF competition has become an established platform to foster innovation and youth development, and we are proud to extend our support to the competition and to the youth of our region. We are particularly proud of the two Bahraini teams which are set to participate in this year's competition and we wish them the best of luck."

He added: "As a leader in the digital space, Zain Bahrain believes in the power of innovation to drive economic prosperity and improve lives. Given the right environment, Bahrain could well produce the world's next Facebook or Uber, and we believe it is our responsibility to encourage the next generation of talents in the country."

Chair of the board of MIT EF Pan Arab Hala Fadel said: "Every year, our confidence and belief in the importance of this competition in supporting and nurturing the culture of entrepreneurship grows. Developing the ideas and projects of the Arab youth and empowering them to transform these pioneering ideas into success stories couldn't make us prouder."

President of Community Jameel International, Fady Jameel remarked: "We are happy to present the opportunity for innovation and creativity to entrepreneurs across the Arab world. We see new promising business models each year, all coming from diverse backgrounds. This reinforces the fact that the Arab world is full of talent and creativity."

The MIT Arab Startup Competition will culminate in a two-day event on April 18 and 19, 2018 in Oman, with the announcement of this year's winners, set to take place during the final award ceremony. For more information on this year's MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, visit 

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