In a recent event, some of the most dynamic startups from eight countries in the region were honored at the Middle East Startup Awards (MESA) 2022-23, which is the regional round of the Global Startup Awards. The event concluded a two-day conference and exhibition hosted by the American University in Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK).
The Middle East Startup Awards recognize the exceptional achievements of these companies and innovators in the fields of technology and innovation from the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Jordan.
The guest of honor at the opening session was His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Kayed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Economic Development Department, Ras Al Khaimah.
The event also hosted the Youth Innovation Challenge, where young minds were invited to present their innovative projects in front of a distinguished panel in the presence of the main guest, His Excellency Mohammed Ali Musabah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The American University in Ras Al Khaimah hosted the two-day event, bringing together experts from around the world and the region, along with investors and industry leaders, in a special celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship. The event included keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking sessions focused on strategies for launching, expanding, and developing startups. The event also saw participation from over ten universities and attracted more than 300 participants.
Dr. David A. Schmidt, President of the American University in Ras Al Khaimah, said in his opening remarks: “It is a great honor for the American University in Ras Al Khaimah to host the Middle East Startup Awards. The university possesses one of the most dynamic entrepreneurship centers in the region, with an active student incubator that provides a supportive ecosystem for aspiring entrepreneurs. These programs often leverage technology to connect startups with mentors, investors, and industry experts. Universities can facilitate the transfer of technology from academic research to the commercial sector. This includes licensing intellectual property and fostering partnerships with industry and supporting the creation of spin-off companies.”
Sagarika Sahoo, Co-Founder of the Middle East Startup Awards, said: “The second edition of these awards was remarkably successful, attracting over 3500 nominations and culminating in the selection of 135 finalists, and eventually producing 12 deserving winners. The event was enriched by the presence of industry leaders, investors, startup founders, and fellow entrepreneurs. The response testifies to the vitality of emerging Middle Eastern companies, and we are confident that the event will inspire more innovators to launch their startups, thereby contributing to the national economy. The support provided by the Ras Al Khaimah government and the American University in Ras Al Khaimah was unparalleled.”
The winners of the Middle East Startup Awards 2022-23 are: Reachware, Saudi Arabia (Startup of the Year); Zabonex, Oman (Best New Startup); Ms. Altaf Al Dukair, Circle, Kuwait (Entrepreneur of the Year); Al Zarooni Emirates Investments, UAE (Best Family Office); Pioneer Investors, Oman (Venture Capital Firm of the Year); Astro Labs LLC, UAE (Best Coworking Space); Misk Foundation Entrepreneurship, Saudi Arabia (Best Accelerator/Incubator Program); Mr. Hameed Al Obaidi, Oman (Ecosystem Hero of the Year); Ion Microsystems, Jordan (Best Green Tech Startup of the Year); Dudi Sports Technologies, UAE (Best Health Tech Startup of the Year); Paybybit Payment Services Provider Co. LLC, UAE (Best Web 3.0 and AI Startup of the Year); Ms. Siham Yateem, Bahrain (Role Model of the Year) and Paybybit Payment Services Provider Co. LLC, UAE (People’s Choice Award).
The Middle East Startup Awards are the regional part of the Global Startup Awards under the operational management of Commerce Connect Events Exhibition & Management (CCEEM). These awards celebrate outstanding ideas from 12 regions covering 120 countries. The winner selection process encompasses all aspects of the startup ecosystem and utilizes a network of local ambassadors, international partners, national and international jury members, and key advisors including prominent investors, political stakeholders, founders, and community builders.