Today, The Duke of York held the first of two days of Boot Camp as he opened the first ever [email protected] GCC. Today’s event was held at the Khalifa Innovation Center in the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and the final will take place at Emirates Palace on Wednesday 24 October.
Opening Boot Camp, HRH said; “As the Founder of [email protected] it comes as no surprise to me to find that we can fit Pitch into so many different national ecosystems of start-up and scale up businesses.”
“What we’re trying to achieve is to showcase to your own countrymen and women what Abu Dhabi and other countries in the GCC are doing. It’s a great pleasure for me to do this here and in other parts of the world too.”
“You’re now all part of the global network of [email protected] and we will continue to listen to your asks and make connections for you, in order to help make the biggest differences to your businesses today.”
The Duke of York founded [email protected] in 2014 to provide a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of Entrepreneurs. The theme for [email protected] GCC is Technology Serving Humans. It aims to support Entrepreneurs that have identified opportunities in the following areas :
• Educational Technology
• Energy and Environmental Technology
• Health and Well-being Technology
• Internet of Things
• Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality
• Wearable Technology
Today, HRH welcomed the Entrepreneurs, before the Audience were given the opportunity to hear from industry experts and [email protected] Alumni, and to receive mentoring and support. The Pitch Alumni – Digital Research Technology, DIY Law, Kamaleon, Protect Box and Seequestor – sat on a panel to talk about their journey since [email protected], what they’ve learnt and their advice for the 15 Entrepreneurs taking part in [email protected] GCC.
Speaking at the event, Dayn Amade who founded Kamaleon and took part in [email protected] Commonwealth in April 2018 said; “I was a non winner at [email protected], and from where I come from it’s very difficult to get access to the people you need. But after Pitch my life got easy and so did access. I received invitations from the British High Commission in Mozambique, and from there the staff introduced me to a lot of people. Even if you’re not a winner, by being part of the [email protected] Family, life becomes easier.”
Fariba Cook who founded Seequestor and took part in [email protected] 6.0 said; “The [email protected] network has given us traction, exposure, as well as links to the people in our markets, so I want to say thank you very much.”
Kiran Bhagotra from Protect Box who took part in [email protected] 9.0 said; “I have a Twitter following thanks to [email protected] You’ll be surprised by who’s in the audience that can help get your name out there.”
“[email protected] is a safe place to talk to your network and test your business. I’ve also got a lot of opportunities out of meeting other entrepreneurs that I’ve met, which is unique to other accelerator programmes.”
“Once you’re part of the [email protected] brand and clan, it’s part of your brand. It becomes part of your armour that you can use, and stays with you for a long time.”
Funkola Odeleye who founded DIY Law and was one of the winners of [email protected] Commonwealth said; “Everyone gets the same level of support at [email protected] It’s not a ‘winner takes all’ situation.”
“Social media is very important, as well as other traditional media, to help you gain support both for the People’s Choice Award, and to gain traffic, traction and exposure.”
“I’m a business woman from Nigeria, who Pitched in London and I’m sitting here in Abu Dhabi. Prepare for success.”
Faisal Al Shimmani from Digital Research Technologies who took part in [email protected] UAE 1.0 said; “Pitch enabled us to meet the people who enable change and who listened to our challenges and addressed them.”
“Being here, being selected to be here and being part of the [email protected] network is an achievement and you will get the support you need.”
Later that evening, The Duke of York attended a high level business dinner hosted by Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) where he was received by H.E Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of ADGM and H.E Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of the Khalifa Fund.