Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Fourth International Forum on Investing in Technology, was brought to a successful close after productive discussions, debates and tie-ups between technopreneurs and venture capital funds.
The two-day forum organised by the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), a UAE based, independent, non-governmental and non-profit organisation established to promote the development of science, technology and entrepreneurship in the Arab world, was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Crown Prince of Kuwait.
The “Developing an Arab Venture Capital Industry” forum announced the winners of the inaugural “Arab Technology Business Plan Competition “, instituted by the ASTF. The first prize went to Astroleap, which had submitted a business plan to stream location sensitive data to mobile devices. Astroleap’s content will allow users to download and redeem coupons and promotions, check for friends in near proximity while travelling and dispatch emails and invitations. Astroleap will be awarded a minimum investment of US$ 50,000 in their business plan.
“We are very proud to have secured first place in competition where all submissions were very strong. The competition spurred us to create a comprehensive and detailed plan that will no doubt help the company in the future as we turn ideas to reality. The forum was an excellent chance to meet and network with entrepreneurs, investors and seed capitalists. We believe that there should be further competitions, as such initiatives will catalyze idea generation and we look forward to ASTF’s support and guidance in developing our ideas further,” said Basil S. Qubain, Astroleap’s Operations Manager.
WadiMobile UAE secured the second place with its mobile applications platform, while Hakaya Technology’s concept for new software development tools gave them the last spot in the winner’s circle. As second and third places winners, WadiMobile and Hakaya Technology will be eligible for investment capital from the Arab Technology Ventures Seed Capital Fund.
The Forum hosted presentations from a panel of world-class speakers, including Jim Morrison, founder & CEO, i-mate™, in a series of seminars
Commenting on the forum’s success, Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Alnajjar, President, ASTF, said, “The objective of the forum was primarily to engage the venture capital industry in providing entrepreneurial leadership for technology related industries. We have been highly successful in our endeavours, and a number of promising ideas and innovative concepts have been discussed over the course of the past few days. I am certain that the Forum’s initiatives will create a ripple effect in coming months and years as participants seek to pursue their ideas to fruition.”
The forum was co-sponsored by the National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC), Intel Corporation, Abdul Latif Jameel Co Ltd (ALJ), and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The next Forum will be in February at Dubai.