GIST is pleased to announce that the top ventures of their annual Tech-I business plan competition were awarded yesterday December 12, 2012 at a ceremony in Dubai. The competitors were selected through a rigorous months-long process which included an expert review stage followed by an online public voting phase wherein they earned thousands of votes for their two-minute video pitches. The competition culminated in a two-part live pitching session during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit this week.
Thirty semifinalists were chosen to attend the finals of the competition, and each of them will receive three months of mentorship and coaching by experts. Ten top ventures were selected from among them for additional prizes. Coming in First Place was Natali Ardianto, Co-founder and COO of Tiket.com, winning $25,000 for his ICT company based in Indonesia (Watch the video pitch here). Tiket.com is an online travel and entertainment gateway where you can buy flight, train, hotel, concert events and movie tickets all in one convenient place. First Runner Up, a $15,000 prize, went to Mohamad Taha, Founder and CEO of ma2too3a!, his crowd-sourced mobile application that offers real-time location-based news and traffic updates for Lebanon (Watch the video pitch here).
Khaled Wagdy, Co-founder of Motion Capture Systems took Second Place, a $10,000 award, for his Egyptian company that aims to provide high quality and cost effective solutions for character animation, allowing 3D artists to focus on their ideas and output rather than complex technicalities (Watch the video pitch here). Third prize went to Nanocides, a Pakistani health venture represented by Saman Khan, Founder and CEO & Syed Irteza Ubaid, Head of Operations (Watch the video pitch here). Nanocides is a custom self-sanitizing surface which reduces the spread of infectious diseases by decontaminating the surrounding environment. A special prize for Top Female Entrepreneur was awarded to Jolene Sim, Marketing Director of Centsless. Centsless a Malaysian company that gamifies the conventional loyalty program, doing away with punchcards and delivering a platform that works both online & offline, allowing users to easily earn points and redeem them for attractive rewards using their mobile phones (Watch the video pitch here.) Both Nanocides and Centsless will receive $5,000 for their ventures.
Five teams earned honorable mentions (and $2,000 each for their companies): Laurent Liautaud, Founder of Niokobok, from Senegal (video), Rachid Harrando, Co-founder and CEO of "COREvidence" by NETpeas, from Morocco (video) Bassam Seif and Nadi Chemali, Co-founders of Kactus, from Lebanon (video), Tamer Ahmed, Founder of Assly "Original," from Egypt (video), and Abedul-Azez Kasaji, CEO of Mallna, from Jordan (video).The CEO of Mubstar, Ahmad Al-Mubiden, won an iPad for receiving the most votes for his online video pitch .
GIST congratulates all of the participants in the Tech-I Competition for a job well done. The quality and diversity of the applicants were remarkable and the ventures show great promise. The GIST initiative is grateful for the ongoing support of their local and regional partners worldwide that help identify and promote aspiring entrepreneurs and for the assistance of the many mentors and judges who have given their time to the competition to aid the ventures with the most potential. For more information on the winners, please visit the GIST blog and Facebook page.