Zain Group and Community Jameel partner ninth edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition

Zain Group and Community Jameel partner ninth edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition


  • Fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and mentoring across the region.
  • Competition opens on October 6, 2015, applications deadline is January 4, 2016.
  • Finals to be held in Jeddah on April 14, 2016, prize money exceeds $150,000.

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa in partnership with Community Jameel International, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, announces the launch of the ninth edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition.

Founded in 2005, the MITEF of the Pan Arab Region, who is the organizer of the competition, is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MITEF Global, an avid promoter of innovation worldwide, engaging aspiring entrepreneurs in mentorship and networking.

This year’s competition includes three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship, with total prize money on offer in excess of US$150,000. Each of the three tracks will award the first three ranked winners with cash prizes in addition to many other benefits including top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and great networking opportunities.

The competition’s website opened for applications on October 6, 2015, with the deadline for receipt on January 4, 2016. Informative roadshows promoting the competition will be held in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan and the UAE, and seventy semi-finalist teams will be announced on February 1, 2016.

The semi-finalists will be invited to attend pre-boot camp activities scheduled to take place in February and March 2016 in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and the UAE. The competition will culminate in a five-day event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from April 11 – 15, 2016, with the announcement of the competition winners scheduled to take place during the final award ceremony on April 14, 2016, with a an one-day MIT Technology Review Pan Arab conference being held on April 15, 2016.

Commenting on Zain Group’s support of the latest MITEF Arab Startup Competition, CEO Scott Gegenheimer said, “We continue to support this competition as Zain believes in championing the generation of new ideas, which may result in the development of the next technology or application to change our industry or the world. We are looking forward to interacting with this year’s aspiring entrepreneurs and shall take the opportunity to capitalize on the most promising innovative ideas supporting our evolution in becoming a digital lifestyle operator.”

Commenting on Community Jameel International’s support, President Fady Jameel said, “Entrepreneurs play an important role in shaping the economy and each year we are overwhelmed with the quality of participants in this competition. At Community Jameel, we are committed to enabling the next generation of young entrepreneurs and we will remain focused on creating and enabling an environment in which young entrepreneurs can achieve their aspirations. We look forward to receiving applications for this year’s competition and we are confident that this 9th edition will yield excellent results.”

Commenting on the 9th version of MIT competition, Deputy CEO of Zain Iraq, Dr. Haidar Radi said “ We highly support the Iraqi youth potentialities to generate a positive change in the community. This is effectively done through fostering initiatives and innovative ideas to access international platforms. The current participation in the 9th version of the competition positively stems from Zain Iraq general orientation to support the youth talents for which we have provided a good space in our current and future strategic plans.”

For her part, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said, “We’re excited to meet and support the next wave of innovators from the region. With the rapid growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region and the support of our partners, we expect a record number of applications this year.”