Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development announced that application submissions have closed for the 2nd edition of Pitch@PalaceUAE Competition, which recorded a total of 91 applications, 63 of which were selected to participate in the Abu Dhabi and Sharjah On-Tours. The competition is considered an important platform in building a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs and promote innovative and creative projects at the local, regional and global levels. It also further strengthens Khalifa Fund's vision in promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation by supporting the development of SMEs in the UAE and environment for young people to pursue their ideas of innovation and excellence.
Thirty-two projects were selected for the first On-tour that will be held in the New York University Abu Dhabi on September 17, 2018. Meanwhile, 31 ideas were selected for the second On-tour of the competition, which will take place at Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center 'Sheraa' on September 19, 2018, where the projects will be evaluated. The selected best project ideas from both tours will move to the ‘Boot Camp’ phase. This year, the selected competitors from both, Pitch@PalaceUAE’ and ‘Pitch@PalaceGCC, will be receiving the required training in the ‘Boot Camp’ to be fully prepared to present their innovative projects at the final event to top-level consultants and key business leaders, which may open up opportunities for investment, expansion, networking and scale up.
The competition is taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Force, which emphasizes the important role of the competition in supporting innovative and creative projects on the local and regional levels as well as establishing a new generation of UAE and GCC entrepreneurs. The Khalifa Fund is keen to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, support and develop small and medium enterprises in the UAE and the GCC, which will strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as global platform for entrepreneurship and boost creativity among youth.
H.E. Abdulla Al Darmaki, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “The Fund continues its efforts to develop SMEs, recognizing its impact and major contribution in growing the country's economy through industry diversification, increase in employment opportunities, and raising our country's competitiveness profile. It also provides diverse opportunities for youth to participate in the activities of the society and help achieve comprehensive development in line with the UAE Vision 2021, with the goal of making the country among the best in the world. The Fund has encouraged many individuals to share their innovative ideas and projects to enhance the role of young citizens in the country's development and leadership. This further strengthens the Fund's key role since its establishment in supporting entrepreneurs and encouraging them to develop innovative and distinctive ideas that contribute to progress and success in various fields.”
H.E. Al Darmaki added: “The Fund is moving ahead in its initiatives from economic entrepreneurship to innovative entrepreneurship in the UAE, which focuses on quality programs that optimize investment in national resources. Working with a clear vision has enabled us to drive the interest in entrepreneurship of UAE citizens, which is in line with national directives and our belief in its important contribution to the country's economy in terms of diversification, increasing employment opportunities, contributing to GDP and raising the level of national competitiveness.”
The competition is part of the Fund's ongoing efforts with its local strategic partners supporting Pitch@PalaceUAE, such as Sandooq Al Watan Fund, British Petroleum, Abu Dhabi Global Market, START AD - New York University Abu Dhabi, Sheraa- Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, Khalifa Innovation Center, Sia Partners, and Emirates Palace.
The second edition of Pitch@PalaceUAE and the first edition of Pitch@PalaceGCC this year provided the opportunity for UAE and GCC entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and pioneering projects in technology to a global audience composed of businessmen and executive heads of prestigious companies. The competition is one of the most important initiatives that promotes industrial innovation and intelligence, initiating young nationals to develop projects in the areas of communication, science and technology, guiding them towards development and contribute to economic diversity and growth.