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12 aspiring Emirati entrepreneurs prepare to present innovative projects at Pitch@Palace UAE 3.0 with two-day ‘Boot Camp’

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The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) organized the ‘Boot Camp’ phase of Pitch@Palace UAE 3.0, which took place recently at the Khalifa Innovation Center, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi for two consecutive days. The event was held in the presence of His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and Founder of Pitch @Palace Global who launched the initiative in 2014, and Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED.

The ‘Boot Camp’ witnessed the training of 12 innovative UAE projects, and the intensive preparation of the entrepreneurs ahead of presenting their diverse projects at the final event on October 9, 2019, where a group of local and international dignitaries and representatives of major companies and various government, semi-government and private entities will be in attendance.

It focused on preparing the finalists to present their projects at the final event, helped them to evaluate their proposals, identify potential areas for improvement, and work to modify and improve them if necessary; and introduce new horizons and multiple investment opportunities at local, regional and global levels.

The training placed a strong emphasis on innovation as the backbone and cornerstone of entrepreneurship, and presented a unique opportunity to learn about modern marketing skills, how to devise an integrated plan to increase capital, and ways to develop a professional and tight management structure capable of ensuring the success of creative ideas that contribute to economic growth, prosperity and continuity.

Al Nasri pointed out the strong position of entrepreneurship in the UAE, based on the directiveness of the wise leadership to support Emirati entrepreneurs and innovators as future leaders and manufacturers; and elaborated on the importance of young people pursuing leadership role in the UAE in various fields and sectors, especially innovation, creativity and modern technology.

She stressed the continuous success of KFED in its path towards innovation, instilling a culture of leadership and creativity among young citizens and promoting excellence and success among them. In addition to its keenness to spread the culture of entrepreneurship and the establishment of national small and medium enterprises (SMEs). She also highlighted the Fund’s positive impact on social and economic development in the country through a series of initiatives and programs in collaboration with selected strategic and local partners that continue to contribute to creating a more integrated and sustainable society.

“Since the beginning, KFED has sought to develop national cadres and utilize their exceptional and diverse capabilities. The cooperation agreement with the Office of HRH Prince Andrew stipulates that the Fund should promote the Pitch@Palace program throughout the Middle East, in the UAE and specifically Abu Dhabi as a hub of innovation and a centre of technology and entrepreneurship in the region; KFED remains fully committed to providing support and assistance to SMEs and Emirati innovators to achieve success and prosperity in their national projects, which in turn support economic and social development within the country and enhance its aromatic reputation around the world” Al Nasri added.

Besides the speech of Al Nasri on the first day of ‘Boot Camp’, HRH Prince Andrew and His Excellency (HE) Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Khalifa Innovation Center, addressed the participants and those in attendance; while  a series of presentations by several local partners on the most successful companies globally, all of whom began their work in the form of start-ups, were delivered to inspire and transfer the necessary expertise to the contestants.

Day one also saw presentations by a group of experts on how to make best use of the opportunity to participate in the Pitch@Palace and new opportunities to start innovative projects in various fields and sectors; and lectures on successful management and related techniques for start-ups. These were then followed by presentations of the 12 projects in front of a jury which provided the contestants with advice and fruitful reviews of their projects.

The second day included a presentation on “Financials for startups” to highlighted the basics of managing financial data and information and how to present data to potential investors and partners to attract their attention and increase their enthusiasm in supporting the project; followed by a series of seminars on how to increase financial resources for startups, obtain the financial support required by government and private entities, and expand the scope of projects to establishing successful partnerships with major investors and increase the capital of companies. The Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi (ADDED) made a presentation on the Takamul program, which is managed and funded by the Department. It is one of the key national initiatives that adopts innovation by providing global support and expertise to innovators and inventors in the UAE; helping their innovations and inventions achieve the economic and social value.

The closing ceremony of the third Emirati edition of the Pitch@Palace UAE competition will be held at Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi in the presence of HRH and several local, regional and international dignitaries in various fields. Winners who will qualify to represent the UAE in the 2nd edition of Pitch@Palace GCC competition, scheduled to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on November 27, 2019. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the 4th edition of the Pitch@Palace Global, that will be organized in December this year at St James’s Palace in the United Kingdom (UK).

The UAE version of the competition is a key initiative in the success of KFED’s support of Emirati entrepreneurs; providing them with real opportunities to connect with various businessmen, experts and CEOs. The Fund launched the first UAE edition in November 2016 in the presence of HRH Prince Andrew and His Highness (HH) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with the aim of creating a new generation of successful and capable Emirati entrepreneurs to compete in various local, regional and global markets, contribute to the strengthening of the country’s path towards the policy of economic diversification, and drive economic and social growth.

The Fund is organizing the 3rd edition Pitch@Palace Competition in cooperation with several its partners including Dubai SME; Sandooq Al Watan; the Khalifa Innovation Center; the Abu Dhabi Global Market; the Higher Colleges of Technology; StartAD; the Takamul Programme; the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises and Projects; Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); Sia Partners; the Global Innovation Institute; and Krypto Labs.

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