UAE entrepreneurs walk away with Dh35,000

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The winners of Startup Weekend in the Emirates have walked away with Dh35,000 in prize money. But which internet or mobile-based idea was best?

Hend Al Marri, left, and Shaima Ebrahim, right, of team Muftahi present during the finals of the Startup Weekend in Abu Dhabi. © Christopher Pike / The National

Sananda Sahoo

Healthy lifestyles, unsung artisans and "speaking" newspapers are the cool things this summer.

Winners at the UAE edition of

walked away with Dh35,000 in prize money for these Internet and mobile-based ideas.

Health Miles, which consisted of a team of entrepreneurs and start-up enthusiasts, was the winner for an application that could reward healthy lifestyles - and bagged the Dh20,000 top prize. They were followed by a team called Mongo, for their idea of an online shopping portal for undiscovered artisans. The Speaking Papers team, with a business idea that could let readers listen to their favourite newspaper, was judged to be the third best.


, along with Dubai-based Innovation Machine, organised the local version of the global initiative to support start-ups. The Startup Weekend originally began in the United States in 2007.

The third edition of the event attracted 400 participants, and judges heard 53 pitches on the first day of the competition. Later, the participants formed 27 teams to work on the best ideas. On Saturday, the third day of the event, the judges selected three winning teams after hearing their pitches.

"This is the first time for Startup Weekend in Abu Dhabi, since we felt the need to support the young generation there - especially the creative Emiratis with their innovative ideas," said Deem Al Bassam, a Saudi entrepreneur and co-founder of Innovation Machine, which promotes entrepreneurship and startups.