The largest-ever GITEX Technology Week is primed to drive the world's smart digital transformation, support young entrepreneurs, and enhance Dubai and the UAE's standing as one of the foremost capitals of innovation.
In the most game-changing edition in recent years, GITEX has created the GITEX Global Startup Movement - although only in its first year of inception it is already the largest startup event in the wider region, and the most global showcase in the world.
Building on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, for the Emirate to be an internationally recognised hub for digital innovation and creating sustainable economic growth as part of Dubai Plan 2021, GITEX aims to shine a spotlight on Arab and international innovation and entrepreneurship through this weeklong showcase of global force, uniting young innovators from around the world to share, learn, experience and build lasting partnerships.
Across its largest-ever space of over one million square feet, organisers of GITEX expect over 100,000 visitors from 150 countries. Held under the theme "Re-Imagining Realities," GITEX will host 4,000 exhibiting companies and showcase 230 speakers, provide visitors with 130 conference hours.
Empowering Innovative Entrepreneurs
At the GITEX Global Startup Movement, more than 400 startups from 60 countries and over 1,000 entrepreneurs will gather in Dubai to sell and learn. While the UAE will be represented with 85 startups, 79 per cent of startups will hail from the rest of the world.
Over 200 investors and influential tech investment executives from Silicon Valley, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including SoftBank Group International, 500 Startups, Accel Partners, Golden Gate Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners amongst others will arrive in Dubai to explore, discover, evaluate and potentially fund some of the most promising startups with a particular eye on regional talent. The illustrious funding ventures of these investors include global giants Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify among others.
"Through GITEX we want to create the life-changing opportunity for startups to meet face-to-face with legendary investors and accelerator firms, be it for funding support or advisory guidance that shall help them breakthrough in their ventures. There is great aspiration and ambition amongst these young creative Arab minds to change the world with their imagination.
By bringing them closer to their fellow startup peers from other countries, some of which are successful references, this valuable sharing experience built through mutual respect and admiration shall inspire their growth and infuse their innovation. GITEX is privileged to be an enabler to create these life-changing opportunities in their entrepreneurship journeys," said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of GITEX Technology Week 2016.
AstroLabs Dubai is the only Google-partnered Tech Hub in the MENA region and Muhammed Meki, co-founder of AstroLabs will also be one of the judges for the 'Strut-Up' Pitch competition. Muhammed will be sharing his experiences as a successful entrepreneur through mentorship sessions at the GITEX Global Startup Movement.
"The GITEX Global Startup Movement is unprecedented in its focus on attracting startups from around the world to Dubai, an ideal hub for them to reach emerging markets from Africa to Asia. As an enabler of the regional startup ecosystem, AstroLabs is partnering with GITEX to support these entrepreneurs on their growth journey and we look forward to meeting them during the event" said Zaen Hamid, Head of Operations, AstroLabs.
Fourteen government-led startup delegations will attend the GITEX Global Startup Movement, including the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and United States. Egypt, Hungary, Japan, Morocco, and Oman will bring startup delegations to the GCC for the first time.
In the dramatic GITEX "Strut-Up" Pitch Competition, startups will go head-to-head to take home USD 160,000 in prize money across categories including Best GITEX Startup, Best Arab-Led Startup, the Best Women-Led Startup and the Best Youth Start Up.
Inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs, the Out-Talk Conference will host keynotes from startup experts such as media mogul Troy Carter, who catapulted pop icon Lady Gaga and John Legend to global fame, now Global Head of Creator Services for digital music service Spotify; Evan Burfield, Co-Founder of startup incubator and seed fund 1776; and venture investor Christopher Schroeder who recently wrote "Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East".