Seedstars World focusing on MENA for start-up challenges

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Seedstars-WorldSeedstars World is a global start-up challenge and arguably the only worldwide exclusive competition of its kind, purely focused on emerging economies and high-growth start-up scenes. Based in Geneva, and co-founded by Alisée de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition was launched in October 2012 under the auspices of Swiss-based global venture builder Seedstars SA.

Selected high-quality start-ups are invited to compete in regional rounds in an array of cities across regions such as South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Regional winners represent their countries during the worldwide finale in Geneva in front of a worldwide jury and receive plum opportunities to gain international media coverage and connect with potential investors, partners and customers to catalyse their businesses. The winning start-up receives $500,000 in equity investment and the title of ‘Seedstars World Best Start-up’.

This year the competition almost doubled its outreach to include nearly 40 cities worldwide, with its Middle East excursion boasting new regional rounds in Amman, Casablanca and, most notably, Tehran.

In Dubai, the challenge was held earlier this month. It was Egypt’s KinTrans, a communication system for hearing impaired that emerged as the Grand Prize winner of the 2014 Seedstars World Start-up Competition in the city. CrowdAnalyzer, a social media monitoring tool for brand communications and development, co-founded by Ahmed Saad and I.T. Flakes, a clinical operations and social app for dental professionals co-founded by Mohamad Hijazi, secured second and third place respectively.

“We are committed to harnessing and encouraging the entrepreneurial potential in the Middle East,” vouched Seedstars World CEO and co-founder Alisée de Tonnac.

“In fact, we are exploring the possibility of adding rounds in Palestine, Armenia and Algeria as well. As we continue to scale the competition, our aim is to make inroads into every possible emerging market. For example, Eastern Europe is on our radar and we hope to do more work there.”

A start-up must meet three main criteria in order to be considered for the regional round, so as to ensure the project’s start-up status.

According to de Tonnac, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MENA region, while still in its nascent stages, shows tremendous promise.

“We received a lot of applications for the Dubai round even from outside the UAE, such as Egypt, Jordan and Palestine which proves that Dubai has what it takes to become an attractive start-up hub for the Arab world,” he said..

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Seedstars World is a global start-up challenge and arguably the only worldwide exclusive competition of its kind, purely focused on emerging economies and high-growth start-up scenes. Based in Geneva, and co-founded by Alisée de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition was launched in October 2012 under the auspices of Swiss-based global venture builder Seedstars SA.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Seedstars-WorldSeedstars World is a global start-up challenge and arguably the only worldwide exclusive competition of its kind, purely focused on emerging economies and high-growth start-up scenes. Based in Geneva, and co-founded by Alisée de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, the competition was launched in October 2012 under the auspices of Swiss-based global venture builder Seedstars SA.

Selected high-quality start-ups are invited to compete in regional rounds in an array of cities across regions such as South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Regional winners represent their countries during the worldwide finale in Geneva in front of a worldwide jury and receive plum opportunities to gain international media coverage and connect with potential investors, partners and customers to catalyse their businesses. The winning start-up receives $500,000 in equity investment and the title of ‘Seedstars World Best Start-up’.

This year the competition almost doubled its outreach to include nearly 40 cities worldwide, with its Middle East excursion boasting new regional rounds in Amman, Casablanca and, most notably, Tehran.

In Dubai, the challenge was held earlier this month. It was Egypt’s KinTrans, a communication system for hearing impaired that emerged as the Grand Prize winner of the 2014 Seedstars World Start-up Competition in the city. CrowdAnalyzer, a social media monitoring tool for brand communications and development, co-founded by Ahmed Saad and I.T. Flakes, a clinical operations and social app for dental professionals co-founded by Mohamad Hijazi, secured second and third place respectively.

“We are committed to harnessing and encouraging the entrepreneurial potential in the Middle East,” vouched Seedstars World CEO and co-founder Alisée de Tonnac.

“In fact, we are exploring the possibility of adding rounds in Palestine, Armenia and Algeria as well. As we continue to scale the competition, our aim is to make inroads into every possible emerging market. For example, Eastern Europe is on our radar and we hope to do more work there.”

A start-up must meet three main criteria in order to be considered for the regional round, so as to ensure the project’s start-up status.

According to de Tonnac, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MENA region, while still in its nascent stages, shows tremendous promise.

“We received a lot of applications for the Dubai round even from outside the UAE, such as Egypt, Jordan and Palestine which proves that Dubai has what it takes to become an attractive start-up hub for the Arab world,” he said..

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