Rising To The Occasion: Meet The Finalists Of Dubai Smartpreneur Competition 4.0
The winners of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition 4.0, presented by Dubai Startup Hub, the entrepreneurship support arm of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Smart Dubai, were announced during the closing ceremony of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2019 in Dubai last month, which gathered business leaders and representatives of Dubai’s entrepreneurial community.
Denarii Cash, a mobile application helping overseas workers to send remittances, has won the competition, while Arabee, an online multi-format Arabic language program, and Xpence, a digital-only intelligent business bank account for startups, came in second and third respectively.
According H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the fourth cycle of the Dubai Smartpreneur competition saw a 217% surge in the number of international submissions compared to the previous cycle. Apart from the UAE, the competition attracted smart business concepts related to blockchain, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation from 19 countries in 2019, up from 6 countries in 2018, reflecting Dubai’s increasing attractiveness as an innovation hub and preferred market for international startups.
“Over 1,600 smart business ideas have been submitted to Dubai Smartprenuer competition since its launch, and we continue to see positive changes as the quality and calibre of applications and participants increases with every new cycle,” said H.E. Al Ghurair. “The benefits of participating in this unique programme go far beyond the recognition of winning, and extend to the training, development, mentorship, practical tips and rewarding experience that comes along with the pitching process.”
The Entrepreneur Middle East team talked with some of the finalists of the Fourth Dubai Smartpreneur Competition, who were selected out of more than 250 smart business ideas submitted to Dubai Startup Hub this year.
Jon Edward Santillan, founder, Denarii Cash
Ferakh Lakhany, co-founder, Arabee
Saad Ansari, co-founder and CEO, Xpence
Fadi Elghattis, co-founder, Cyber Accounting Services
Thomas Kohlen, co-founder, Peliere
Sevan Tavitian, founder, Giftrapp
Tarek El Bolbol, founder, Booklava
Arif Abed, co-founder, Monocle
Sunil Sivarajan, co-founder, Simplifai Labs