“ADU Enterprise” Abu Dhabi University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre has teamed up for the second year in a row with “Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development” to launch the innovation encouraging “Khalifa Fund Techno-preneurship Competition”. Aimed at challenging aspiring entrepreneurs to integrate technology with entrepreneurship, the competition enables techno-preneurs to learn how to transform a technical idea into actual products or services that serve the community and support the UAE’s move into a knowledge-based economy that fosters creativity and innovation. The competition will receive applications till the 20th of June, after which the top 10 projects will be selected by a committee of experts according to evaluation criteria that include: the idea, it’s compatibility with the Techno-preneur competition objectives, the underlying technology, marketability and feasibility, as well as prototype readiness. The top three finalists will receive seed funding, in addition to incubation at “ADU Enterprise” to develop their project prototype and a suitable business model that will offer them an opportunity to launch their own companies with the support of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.
Commenting on the significance of the competition, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, expressed ADU’s pride in organizing this unique innovation-based competition due to the success it has achieved in highlighting the need for youth’s proactive participation in the UAE’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy, through encouraging beginning entrepreneurs to integrate creativity with technology. “Moreover, this competition embodies ADU’s strategy in supporting and enhancing a culture of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. All of which are key elements that have been integrated in our academic programs and scientific research initiatives that meet the needs of the labor market and its constant search for innovation-driven national cadres, qualified and equipped with the technological prowess to start their own SMEs”, said Dr. Ibrahim
On his part, Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development stressed the Fund's keenness in supporting and encouraging Emirati entrepreneurs to adopt creative and innovative ideas that are founded on technology. He pointed out that the competition falls in line with the objectives of the Fund for the coming period of time, which are focused on encouraging innovation and the financing innovative projects of added-value, through working with a group of strategic partners to create the appropriate environment that will the energize and inspire young Emirati entrepreneurs.
Al Darmaki added that the Fund focusses on fostering creative projects that contribute to the transfer of advanced technology to the local market, which is a key factor of the 2nd annual “Khalifa Fund Techno-preneurship Competition” which encourages entrepreneurs to innovate and excel in technological fields.
Engineer Rima Shaban, Manager of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre “ADU Enterprise” said: “In it’s first year, the competition was a great success receiving over 80 techno-preneurship projects from budding entrepreneurs, some of which were selected to attend practical workshops that contributed to enhancing their skills and encouraged them to take the final leap to transform their ideas into actual products or services. ADU Enterprise provided the three final winners with the mentoring and training services, pre-seed funding and technical support needed to build a viable prototype, as well as overseeing the development of the up-and-coming enterprise’s business model. Perhaps one of the key elements that emphasize the importance of this competition is the fact that it coincides with the UAE’s classification of the year 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’. We hope that this represents a further impetus that attracts distinct ideas that can be converted to small and medium-sized businesses that eventually contribute in the enhancement of the nation’s growing economy”.