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6 October 2015

MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, Community Jameel, and Zain Group partner on the ninth edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition

  • Entrepreneurs Advancement
• 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 14 April 2016, prize money exceeds $150,000

The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) for the Pan Arab Region, in partnership with Community Jameel, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, and Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa, 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, 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 USD $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 of applications on January 4, 2016. Informative roadshows promoting the competition will be held in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, 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-bootcamp 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, and an one-day MIT Technology Review Pan Arab conference being held on April 15, 2016.

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.” he added.

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.”

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.”

General Timeline:

9th Edition of the MITEF Arab Startup Competition

October 6, 2015: Website opens for online submissions
October – November, 2016: Roadshows across the region (TBA)
January 4, 2016: Application deadline
February 1, 2016: Announcement of 70 semi-finalist teams
February , 2016: Pre-bootcamps in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and UAE
April 11 – 15, 2016: 5-Day final event of the MITEF startup competition in KSA

The 2014/2015 eighth edition of the competition that saw the final ceremony held in Kuwait, received an outstanding 4,275 individual and team applications (representing a record participation of over 12,000 entrepreneurs) from 21 Arab countries.

For more information on this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition eligibility and judging criteria, as well as the planned roadshows, please visit

About MITEF Pan Arab: Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region ( is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition (, targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.

About Zain Group: Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 46.3 million active customers as of 30 June, 2015. With a commercial presence in 8 countries, Zain operates in: Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the Group manages ‘touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in ‘INWI’, through a joint venture. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (stock ticker: ZAIN).For more, please email or visit:;;;;;

About Community Jameel: In 2003, Community Jameel was formally established as the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the world’s leading independent Toyota distributors. Today Community Jameel operates a considerable set of initiatives. From individual, community and Arab life as a whole in Saudi Arabia and beyond, Community Jameel has the welfare of its people at heart. By promoting Arab arts and culture in the Middle East and around the world, working against the unemployment, enabling research for poverty alleviation, and providing education and training opportunities, Community Jameel has successfully promoted positive social and economic sustainability. Community Jameel supports and partners with global institutions, which employ hundreds of people, all aiming to provide people with op¬portunities and training in the following areas: Job Creation – Bab Rizq Jameel; Global Poverty Alleviation; Arts and Culture – Art Jameel; Education and Training – Education Jameel; Health and Social – Social Jameel; and Food and Water Security – Environment Jameel. For more info, please visit:

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