Dubai Internet City will give start-ups and entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their idea to panel judges representing leading international companies and institutions such as Qualcomm, Roland Berger, Eureeca and New York University Abu Dhabi among others. The new technology competition set to enhance the emirate’s status as the leading tech and talent hub in the Middle East.
Floating Pitch is a competition for tech-focused entrepreneurs and start-ups that will be launched at STEP Conference from 11 to 12 February in Dubai Internet City, the region’s leading technology ecosystem and a key enabler of its economic transformation. Applications are open for all nationalities living in the UAE or abroad, including university students aged 18 and over.
The judges will be looking for ideas with a ready-to-launch product that could thrive in a regulatory sandbox environment. Existing businesses, as well as ideas for manufacturing, training, hardware, consultancy or brick-and-mortar retail concepts, are ineligible from the tech-focused competition.
Running on both days of the conference between 11:00 and 15:00, one idea will be shortlisted every hour with three eventual winners selected. First place will receive a one-year business set-up or in5 membership and a cheque for AED 10,000. Second place will receive the same support and an AED 5,000 prize, while third place will walk home with a year of business set-up support or in5 membership. The application window for Float Your Idea closes on 7 February.
Entrepreneurs will present a 10-minute pitch to a judge onboard the Floating Pitch Boat sailing across Dubai Internet City’s lake. The Floating Pitch will be judged by experts and innovators from leading companies and institutions such as Qualcomm, Roland Berger, Skynews Arabia, Eureeca and New York University Abu Dhabi among others.
Following homegrown success stories such as Careem, the Middle East’s first unicorn company, and Souq.ae, acquired by Amazon for $580 million in 2019, Dubai Internet City is continually improving Dubai’s tech hub to nurture promising new businesses – and Float Your Idea is a continuation of its commitment to foster growth and innovation.
Dubai Internet City is part of TECOM Group, which launched a start-up incubator in5 in 2013 to feed innovation across technology, media, and design in the region. In5 currently mentors and supports more than 200 start-ups and has helped businesses secure $110 million (AED 400 million) in funding since its establishment.
In5 plans to showcase some of the latest start-ups in its community at STEP Conference, including automated e-commerce shipping platform Carriyo; app-based self-checkout solution ScootQ; peer-to-peer learning platform SmartMentor; e-commerce venue booking business Zoom Venues; wearable medical tech company Witsense; and content technology platform Nejma.