Global Startup Movement drives digital revolution

The largest-ever GITEX Technology Week is geared up to drive the world’s smart digital transformation

GITEX expects to welcome 100,000 visitors from 150 countries.
GITEX expects to welcome 100,000 visitors from 150 countries.

The largest-ever GITEX Technology Week is geared up 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, the 36th edition of GITEX has created the GITEX Global Startup Movement, which even in its first year of inception, 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 2016 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 globe to share, learn, experience and build lasting partnerships.

Across the 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 is hosting 4,000 exhibiting companies and showcasing 230 speakers, providing visitors with 130 conference hours.

During this week, the GITEX Global Startup Movement, with more than 400 startups from 60 countries and over 1,000 entrepreneurs is gathering 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.

In addition, 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 are 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 like 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,” says Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of GITEX Technology Week 2016. “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.”

The UAE’s support for entrepreneurs is the top in the Middle East and North Africa, and 19th in the world. Each new startup can increase GDP by US $1.2 million, according to US-based economic policy think tank, the Pacific Research Institute.

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.

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