The Dubai chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) announced its MENA winner for the regional TiE Women pitch competition launched in June 2020. TiE Women is a global initiative dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs across the globe to come forward and speak of their entrepreneurial journey, share their innovative business ideas, and be a part of the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With more than 100 applications received for the first time from the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and other countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, TiE Women aims to provide budding women entrepreneurs with a platform to collaborate and get professional support as well as mentorship.
The nominations were reviewed by a jury of renowned experts and successful entrepreneurs from within the TiE Dubai network, and 12 applicants were shortlisted to present at the regional finals event which took place on September 3, 2020 when they pitched online in front of a prestigious panel of judges consisting of Muna Al Gurg, Director Retail, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; Amal Dokhan, CEO, Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi; Rohit Garg, Head of Business Banking, Neo Biz and Remittances, Mashreq Bank; Dina Osama el-Shenoufy, CIO, Flat6Labs; Piero Ricotti, Managing Director, Tecnosistemi; and Mona Ataya, CEO & Founder, Mumzworld.com.
The judges evaluated the business concepts based on value creation, global market opportunity, competitive advantage, operational and technical viability, management team capability, raise and exit strategy, financial acumen and lastly the presentation strength.
Following the tough competition and hours of presenting, Praxilabs, a solution provider that makes virtual science labs accessible, usable, and affordable for educational institutions and schools, was selected as the winner of the TiE Women initiative from the MENA region. The three runner-up winners were Bridge. Outsource. Transform (B.O.T), MonkiBox and Habaybna companies.
Praxilabs will represent TiE Dubai at the TiE Women Global Finale in January 2021 and will compete with the other finalists from across the globe for a chance to win $100,000, access to dedicated mentoring along with investor support, and other valuable prizes.
Ziad Matar, President of the Dubai Chapter of TiE commented, “It’s such a thrill to see so many extraordinary women entrepreneurs from the MENA region use their creativity, talent and passion to develop exciting and new business ideas.”
He added, “The data already proves that women are exceptional entrepreneurs. In fact, an HSBC report shows women entrepreneurs in the UAE successfully achieve 45% of their capital fundraising target. When measured against other markets, like the US, the MENA region actually stands out with women-led startups receiving almost double the amount of total funding, compared to their American counterparts.
“Overall, we at TiE Dubai were inspired by the number of applications we received, especially considering this is the first year we’ve held the TiE Women competition. We are proud to establish this platform to help women-led startups shine in their entrepreneurial journey, and we look forward to Khadija Elbedweihy, founder of Praxilabs, flying the flag of the MENA region among 25 global TiE Women finalists in the TiE Women Global Finale,” said Matar.
“Being a winner for TiE Women Initiative in the MENA region is a true honour, a testament to what a startup company with a mission can do to make a difference towards levelling out the playing field for female entrepreneurs,” said Khadija Elbedweihy, founder of Praxilabs. “I am excited at the opportunity to represent the MENA region at the TiE Women Global Finale and this motivates me to further innovate and grow my business to inspire other women entrepreneurs who pursue their passion around the region.”
The vision and goal of TiE Women is to ‘Embrace, Engage, Empower’ women entrepreneurs across the globe – irrespective of the size, origin, interests, standing and background of the enterprise. The TiE Women initiative is built on the Pillars of TiE Global: Learning, Mentoring, Access to Funding, Scalability, Safe Space and Community.
Built upon best practices from local chapters’ women-centric initiatives, TiE Women will specifically result in capacity building, increased networking, knowledge-sharing, and visibility, providing a ‘safe space’ for women entrepreneurs to learn without inhibitions and judgment.
Throughout the year, with a focus on giving back to the community, TiE Dubai fosters entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, education, funding, and incubation to assist the next generation of entrepreneurs.
For information on upcoming educational events, mentorship sessions or pitch initiatives, visit https://dubai.tie.org/