Curtains are today being drawn on the week-long GITEX Technology Week that has been taking place in Dubai. While exhibitors and attendees of the event will be leaving with many new business contacts, deals and opportunities, several startups that managed to woo the judges at the GITEX Strut Up Pitch Competition will be going away with not just that but also valuable lessons from seasoned investors, entrepreneurs and startup mentors as well as some cash.
Dubai-based Acacus Technologies walks away from GITEX with a cool $100,000 which they won in the GITEX Strut Up Pitch Competition that ended on Tuesday after an intense three days of several rounds of pitching.
Acacus provides fleet management solutions and has already struck up a deal with Dubai Taxis for monitoring cab drivers to enhance safety on the road as well as the security of riders.
Another big winner was Sawwagy, the startup that caught my eye on the opening day of GITEX due to its unique solution to what is really a challenge for most Middle East families and particularly Saudi Arabia where it is currently focused on. Sawwagy received $20,000 for the being the Best Arab Startup out of the $160,000 that was up for grabs. The remainder of the prize money went to the Best Millenial Startup, EdTech Solutions whose Teach Me Now education platform provides virtual classrooms for teachers and students from around the world and French startup Akoustic Arts which emerged as the Best Woman Startup.
The pitch competition attracted a wide variety of startups using technology in various ways to address various needs. I remember even spotting a digital agency pitching.
Judges at the pitch competition included investors and entrepreneurs from Europe and Silicon Valley.
In all, 38 startups took part in the Strut Up Pitch Competition, a small percentage of the over 400 startups that in total took part in the inaugural GITEX Startup Movement, making it already the largest week-long global startup showcase.