UAEU Team Flies High at Startup Weekend Abu Dhabi
A team formed by Mouza Delham (B4 Architects), Sajit Kamal (TEDxAlain) and Dr. Jose Berengueres (Faculty of Information Technology, United Arab Emirates University) won 2nd prize in the Startup Weekend Abu Dhabi.
The event is a non-stop hackathon that gathers students and entrepreneurs. The challenge: build a start up company in just 54 hours.
Startup Weekend is an intense event, which focuses on building a web or mobile application, which could form the basis for a credible business – all must be conceived and proposed over the course of a weekend.
The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers, and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.
Obviously, this is a non-stop event where every second counts. There is 24 hour catering. Many participants slept in provided tents inside the museum and some didn’t even take a break to shower for days, but it is truly energizing to be part of all this creative energy,” said Dr. Jose Berengueres.
At the end of the third day each team presents a three-minute pitch in front of a panel of four judges, who then award the prize money to the three projects with most potential to become a real business.
This year’s event venue was Sadiyat – Almanara in Abu Dhabi. The event started on Thursday May 24 at 18:00 and ended on Saturday May 26 at 21:00. During the event the teams could solicit advice from high profile mentors such as Saif Siddiqi, Amina Taher and Christiane Scholderer. The mentors coach teams during the 54 hour brain marathon.
The Platinum Sponsor of the event in Abu Dhabi was the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, while the global organization is supported by such names as Google, Microsoft BizSpark, and Startup Labs. There are over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, and events have been held in hundreds of cities worldwide.
The prizes this year where provided by the Khalifa Fund as 20,000 dirhams for 1st; 10,000 for 2nd; and 5,000 for 3rd place.
The 1st prize winner proposed a health iPhone app, the 2nd prize winner pitched an online design magazine, and the 3rd prize winner proposed an educational application with augmented reality.
The online design magazine start-up proposed by Dr. Jose and his team, which won 10,000 dirhams, was named “Mungo” and presented a place to connect artists with customers, based on showcasing products and images, like the popular social photo-sharing site Pinterest.
The Dean of UAEU’s Faculty of Information Technology, Dr. Eyad Abed, said he is “absolutely delighted to see Dr. Jose’s solid representation of our faculty and of the university in this wonderful, uplifting event. Jose is one of our recent faculty hires, and he has brought lots of skill and energy to the university. I’m also very pleased that our students are benefitting from the entrepreneurship and creativity that radiate from Jose and other UAEU faculty members, who are truly amazing both in their knowledge and their commitment to education and community outreach.”
Notes to Editors
United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)
- 21st Century research-based university, providing research solutions to support the UAE and, through its global partners, the wider world
- Founded in 1976 by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan; the UAE’s first national university
- Chancellor: His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research
- Ranked # 338 in the 2011/2012 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings
- Nine faculties:12,279 students enrolled in 2010/11
- Business & Economics
- Food & Agriculture
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Information Technology
- Medicine & Health Science
- First PhD program in UAE national institution commenced in 2009
- Strong focus on providing specific research solutions and benefits to society − the new model of a 21st Century university, furthering research as part of the global network of discovery and innovation
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