Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and Volkswagen announced the winning team of the Volkswagen Mobility Challenge at STEP Conference 2020, one of the region’s largest entrepreneurial showcases. Volkswagen Middle East, in collaboration with Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), a wholly owned tech co-working space by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), STEP, invited young entrepreneurs from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to come up with an early stage innovation that could transform the face of the mobility industry.
Over 200 applications were received, 20 of which were invited to take part in closed boot-camp workshops in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia to refine their ideas in the lead-up to the conference. Five finalist teams were meticulously selected to present their start-up ideas live at STEP Conference 2020 to a senior panel of judges that included Victor Dalmau, Managing Director for Volkswagen Middle East, Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President – Engineering and Smart City for Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Hans Christensen, Vice President of Dtec, Zakaraya Alshek, Director-Solutions Marketing, Internet of Things at Etisalat Digital, and PK Gulati, Founder of Assembly.
The winning idea was SHORAGES – the brainchild of UAE resident Rayan Osseiran and his team, whose mission was to help e-commerce companies spend less time on operations by handling the storage and fulfilment process for them. Online sellers can simply send SHORAGES their inventory, they store it, process orders, pick, pack and deliver the product to customers across the region.
Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East, Victor Dalmau, said: “The Middle East region is home to so many forward-thinking people with great start-up ideas, and so it was very exciting to host this next generation of talented entrepreneurs and give them a voice through the Volkswagen Mobility Challenge. The competitors were energetic, enthusiastic, driven and not afraid to push boundaries. The winning team was chosen for their solid business model and their vision which is well aligned with Volkswagen’s own vision – to help move people forward. All of this year’s teams represent the future of our communities and we will be watching their progress with great interest.”
Eng. Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President – Engineering and Smart City at DSOA, said: “The UAE has become the preferred destination for global talent and entrepreneurship, owing to the variety of initiatives and projects launched by the government to transform ground-breaking ideas into real businesses. As a start-up hub, Dtec offers an exceptional experience for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.”
Al Katheeri added: “We congratulate the winning team that has been selected meticulously by the judges. We are glad to grant them a one-year membership at Dtec and provide them with all the necessary mentorship to help them pursue their dreams and expand their projects.” The winning team receives a one–year membership at Dtec that includes a business license and hot-desk facilities, access to mentoring and prototyping at The Assembly Lab under the collaborative community team’s guidance on electronics, coding and 3D printing, a one-year car lease from Volkswagen, as well as a trip to the company’s headquarters in Germany to meet industry leaders in mobility and smart cities.