Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has launched the sixth cycle of the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition, which is open to start-ups offering innovative solutions in the categories of Sustainability, Opportunity and Trade.

A virtual launch ceremony, hosted by the chamber earlier today, was attended by Dubai Chamber officials, industry experts, and members of the local start-up community, as well as previous competition winners and contestants.

Open to all entrepreneurs in the UAE and abroad, the competition allows them to become a part of the Dubai Government’s strategy to elevate the city into a global platform for innovative start-ups.

It is also in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into one of the world’s smartest cities. Start-ups must submit their entries through the Dubai Startup Hub website by September 30, 2021.

In his welcome remarks during the ceremony, Hamad Buamim, president & CEO, Dubai Chamber, noted that the annual competition is one of the most successful initiatives launched under Dubai Startup Hub to date, which has supported the chamber’s comprehensive entrepreneurship strategy of empowering entrepreneurs and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive and grow.

Over 2,000 smart business ideas were submitted over the last five cycles of the competition, he revealed, adding that a surge in the number of international submissions was also observed in recent years, reflecting Dubai’s status as a magnet for promising start-ups from around the world.

The launch ceremony featured an informative presentation outlining the criteria for submissions and the main benefits of participating, which include Dh150,000 in cash prizes for the top three winners, a four-day bootcamp for the top 30 start-ups, access to investors and business partners, the top 10 candidates will have an opportunity to pitch live at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Previous Smartpreneur winners, Ferkah Lakhany, co-founder of Arabee; Amine Staali, co-founder and chief R&D officer, ProvenMed, and Kareem Ayyad, founder of Ceribian, joined a panel discussion where they spoke about their experiences and the benefits they gained from participating in the competition.

Other panellists included Tala Al Ansari, director of Innovation Ecosystem – Expo 2020 Dubai; Begona De Albornoz, Corporate Citizenship lead – Middle East for Accenture; and Omar Khan, director of International Offices, who shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities associated with emerging technologies.

Following the submission deadline, entries will be evaluated and shortlisted with the selected candidates thereafter qualifying for the training phase of the competition. At the final stage, the remaining candidates will be trained and guided before the top three winners are announced at an awards ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai. Applications for the 6th cycle of the Smartpreneur Competition are now open.