Seventy-eight teams that represent 15 different Arab nations have made it to the second round of the ninth MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Arab Startup Competition.
Held in partnership with Community Jameel and Zain Group, the event is one of the region's biggest entrepreneurship competitions and consists of three different tracks: ideas, startups and social entrepreneurship.
This year's competition received 5,967 individual and team applications, representing 21 Arab countries and over 16,500 entrepreneurs.
"The record number of applications submitted from across the Arab region this year clearly indicates a steady increase in the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship of the region’s youth," MITEF Pan Arab Board Chair Hala Fadel said. "Particularly noteworthy is the significant increase in applications received from Saudi Arabia -- from five percent last year to nearly 20 percent this year. We look forward to meeting and supporting some of the Middle East’s most promising youth as they start and continue their entrepreneurial journeys."
The countries the 78 semifinalist teams come from include Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates. Each of the teams will be provided with entrepreneurship-focused training.
Three winners from each of the three tracks will be revealed during a ceremony on Thursday, April 14, at King Abdallah Economic City.