IBM SmartCamp2016: Dubai
More About SmartCamp
IBM SmartCamp is a global pitch competition for early-stage startups hosted by IBM and LAUNCH. This year, SmartCamp stopped in 30 cities around the world. Six Applicants were invited in each city to participate in a half-day startup bootcamp followed by a live pitch competition.
Ten global semi-finalists are invited as VIPs to San Francisco’s biggest startup conference, LAUNCH Festival for two days of exhibiting in a SmartCamp pavilion, mentorship, learning from top founders, and networking. Three finalists will win a spot to pitch on stage in the SmartCamp Global Finals and an interview with Jason Calacanis on his podcast, This Week in Startups. One winner will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, which includes a $25,000 USD investment on a capped convertible note from the LAUNCH Fund.
This year, Dubai took part in IBM SmartCamp for the first time.
IBM SmartCamp in Dubai
The event was held at Astrolabs on the 15th of December, making Dubai the last stop for SmartCamp 2016. We welcomed six top Dubai startups, six mentors, and six judges.
Maged Wassim, Vice President for IBM Cloud accross Middle East and Africa, welcomed the participating startups, and gave them an overview of what IBM is doing with startups.
Startups rotated between experts in business development, digital marketing, branding strategy, UX/UI, and web/mobile development. They spent 30 minutes with each mentor.
Mentors gave their feedback to both the startups and judges.
We had a judging panel of experts in the fields of cloud, payments, airlines, client acquisition, and entrepreneurship.
The first to pitch was Biker.Ae — a social network for bikers, providing more than 200 million riders from around the work a platform to gather and join like-minded people. Biker.Ae aims to make new connections between motorcycle riders without geographical borders.
Bringing conversation to commerce across social and messaging platforms, Botler aims to be MENA’s first Artificial intelligence & chatbot building platform. Their A.I engine will enable anyone to create intelligent chatbots for commercial usage without coding, and provide a smart personal assistant to their users.
Working towards financial inclusion for the region, NOW Money uses smartphone technology to provide current accounts and a range low-cost remittance options to low-income migrant workers in the UAE.
Founder Ian Dillon explained how NOW Money is empowering the unbanked with an interface that is user friendly, in 8 languages and suitable for illiterate or semi-illiterate users. Find out more about NOW Money here, and follow them here.
The PartyUp is a handy go-to website and app to discover the top spots to party, dine and play in the area. They provide venue owners with a self serve solution, where they can manage and sell their events and offers. They also provide in-depth analytics and can market to targeted customers.
Founders Abbas Gassem and Loreno Carrillo demonstrated how their app provides an innovative way to find entertainment through photos and videos, with music and transportation options. Find out more about The PartyUp here, and follow them here.
Because a smart city needs smart labour, Smart Labour is an app made to educate laborers and blue collared workers. The project is aimed at making the 2 million workers in the UAE happier with audio-based courses and integrated reward programs.
Universal Linguistics (ULIQ) provides a platform that enables customers to connect on-demand with live certified interpreters and translators who speak the local language and the desired foreign language. They connect brilliant minds from around the world to work together, learn about each other, share ideas, and build a brighter future together.
Founder, Damu Winston, spoke about humanizing & minimizing language barriers with ULIQ. Found out more about ULIQ here.
Audience members voted for their favorite startup. And by an astonishing 35% vote rate, Smart Labour was people’s choice for IBM SmartCamp 2016 Dubai!
IBM SmartCamp 2016 Dubai Winner
The judging panel evaluated the participating startups based on market and business model, team, technology, product design.
The winner of IBM SmartCamp 2016 Dubai was NOW Money!
NOW Money is Dubai’s nominee to be one of ten global finalists to attend The LAUNCH Festival in San Fransisco, March 2017.
A global pitch competition for early-stage startups hosted by IBM and LAUNCH. smartcamp2016.com