Embracing innovation: Zain partners MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition

February 16, 2015

Zain Group, the leading telecommunications company in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces its strategic partnership of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, joining founding partner Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives in the eighth edition of the competition. The application deadline for the competition is February 15, 2015, and the winners’ ceremony will be held in Kuwait on April 20, 2015.

Widely known as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is recognized for being one of the leading universities in the world, earning a reputation as a key player in the advancement of the digital age.MIT focuses on better equipping students with the right tools to transform technological ideas into successful businesses across many academic fields.

Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab Region is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MITEF Global, an avid promoter of innovation worldwide, engaging aspiring entrepreneurs in mentorship and networking.

The forthcoming eighth edition of the competition will see over 5,000 individuals and teams, from 21 Arab countries apply to participate within one of three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, as well as a new track initiated this year, Social Entrepreneurship, which focuses on adapting the idea of innovation worldwide.

Commenting on the partnership Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer said, “Today’s innovators are tomorrow’s differentiators and with this partnership, we look forward to building awareness and encouraging opportunities that enhance the power of innovation through building up our future entrepreneurs.”

The Group CEO continued, “Zain is on a path to transform itself into being a more agile, relevant digital communications provider partnering with leading innovative entities as well as seeking value-enhancing opportunities. This partnership with MIT Enterprise Forum offers Zain a prime opportunity to capitalize on the most promising innovative ideas in the regional digital space and capturing significant market share from it.”

On her part, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab commented, “Having a well-established telecom entity such as Zain partner us in the competition will immensely help in raising awareness about entrepreneurship and speed up the time to market for many of our startups.”

To celebrate the new partnership, shortlisted candidates from various Arab regions will be invited to Kuwait in April 2015 to take part in specially tailored week-long workshops to vote for and eventually announce the winners within each category track at a final ceremony event. Each of the Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship tracks will award the first three ranked winners with cash prizes in addition to a lot of other benefits including top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities.

For more information on the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition eligibility and judging criteria, please visit www.mitarabcompetition.com