From left, MindTalk's Satheesh Kumar, Christiane Schloderer, Azza AlNuaimi, Meerah Ketait and Sarah Al Qassimi during a meeting at their office in Deira last week.
From left, MindTalk's Satheesh Kumar, Christiane Schloderer, Azza AlNuaimi, Meerah Ketait and Sarah Al Qassimi during a meeting at their office in Deira last week.

Website brings events to women



DUBAI // Meerah Ketait missed out on a chance to represent Zayed University at a conference honouring college students in the US because she had other obligations.

She was so disappointed that she and two other Emirati women decided to create a web portal allowing for the live streaming of conferences - including the ability to make presentations online.

"We wanted to not only see the conference, but also be able to participate, ask questions and be present. That's how the idea of live-streaming conferences came to life," said Ms Ketait, 22.

Their web-based platform, MindTalk, provides an interactive experience at conferences in the UAE as they are happening. The website offers networking options for online users to discuss the events, connecting directly to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn applications.

"This idea was inspired when we missed a lot of events and conferences in the UAE and abroad," said Ms Ketait. "[We were] not able to attend [due to] different responsibilities and restrictions such as time, place and work. Our target audience is mainly women. The idea of MindTalk is to make attending and participating in events more convenient for women and people with obligations that cannot physically be at the event."

The concept was thought up by Ms Ketait, Azza Al Nuaimi and Sarah Al Qassimi, all UAE nationals.

It was co-founded with the expatriates Christiane Schloderer and Satheesh Kumar last October during StartUp Weekend, a 54-hour event where developers, designers and entrepreneurs shared their ideas to find out whether projects were sustainable.

The web portal has won praise from the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which last year named it "Most Innovative Idea".

The group has since registered with the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

"MindTalk is a newly introduced idea to the UAE and GCC by locals," said Ms Al Nuaimi, 22. "We are looking to stream events that are interesting and grab people's attention that are not well advertised."

Last weekend, the website streamed the second edition of StartUp Weekend in Al Meydan, Dubai. The portal captured the pitches, interviews and working environment among the participants from a booth that the women had set up.

"We started streaming pitches when they started. We interviewed some of the participants on the spot and showed who were the winners until the programme ended. We were also able to stream when Sheikh Mansoor [bin Mohammed bin Rashid] attended the conference," Ms Ketait said.

A member of the group monitored the website and responded to questions from the viewers. She acted as a mediator between the viewers and the events. "For example, when people asked us about who is pitching, we would answer them," Ms Ketait said. "Others pointed out we had a technical issue with the sound, so we immediately fixed that."

Sarah Falaknaz, a partner at Innovative Machine, the company that organised Start Up weekend, praised the web portal.

"They are involving a big demographic in the region with their initiative," she said. "The idea is new to the region, and I haven't heard of such an initiative anywhere else. The idea can not only encourage, but also support and raise awareness, especially among females, to interact and be part of conferences."

Ms Schloderer, who has 10 years' experience as an executive and a mentor to entrepreneurs, said: "I am very much looking forward to developing MindTalk into the regional live broadcasting company.

"The initial responses from potential customers were very encouraging. Compared to many other regional ideas, MindTalk is working on a unique portfolio that we are striving to extend."

The next events MindTalk plans to stream live are StartUp Weekend Abu Dhabi this Thursday and Startup Weekend Qatar on June 16.

To watch, visit www.mindtalk.ae.

The currency conundrum

Russ Mould, investment director at online trading platform AJ Bell, says almost every major currency has challenges right now. “The US has a huge budget deficit, the euro faces political friction and poor growth, sterling is bogged down by Brexit, China’s renminbi is hit by debt fears while slowing Chinese growth is hurting commodity exporters like Australia and Canada.”

Most countries now actively want a weak currency to make their exports more competitive. “China seems happy to let the renminbi drift lower, the Swiss are still running quantitative easing at full tilt and central bankers everywhere are actively talking down their currencies or offering only limited support," says Mr Mould.

This is a race to the bottom, and everybody wants to be a winner.

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Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup – Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Abaya trends

The utilitarian robe held dear by Arab women is undergoing a change that reveals it as an elegant and graceful garment available in a range of colours and fabrics, while retaining its traditional appeal.

BIGGEST CYBER SECURITY INCIDENTS IN RECENT TIMES

SolarWinds supply chain attack: Came to light in December 2020 but had taken root for several months, compromising major tech companies, governments and its entities

Microsoft Exchange server exploitation: March 2021; attackers used a vulnerability to steal emails

Kaseya attack: July 2021; ransomware hit perpetrated REvil, resulting in severe downtime for more than 1,000 companies

Log4j breach: December 2021; attackers exploited the Java-written code to inflitrate businesses and governments

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Carzaty, now Kavak
Based: Dubai
Launch year: Carzaty launched in 2018, Kavak in the GCC launched in 2022
Number of employees: 140
Sector: Automotive
Funding: Carzaty raised $6m in equity and $4m in debt; Kavak plans $130m investment in the GCC

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre supercharged V8

Power: 712hp at 6,100rpm

Torque: 881Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 19.6 l/100km

Price: Dh380,000

On sale: now

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


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