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The Big Talk: a look at local entrepreneurship
The Big Start Season 4 Finalists
Three contenders have progressed to the final round of The Big Start Student Entrepreneur Competition Season 4 and will compete for a chance to launch their dream company.
The finalists have been competing in different stages in The Big Start since the start of the competition in mid-February 2013. The contenders have been narrowed down from an initial 289 applications that were received and proven themselves to all be a potential winner of this season.
The finalists are: Nikhil Pradhan (BITS Pilani Dubai) with his business idea of a global internet service applicable to anyone looking to continue education; Ahmad Tarabishi (American University of Sharjah) whose idea is to compete in the retail market by introducing a new brand of clothing with an Arabian theme; and Yacine Daoud (American University in Dubai) with his idea of a tailored web platform for students and professors. The finalists are a mix of nationalities, with heritage from India, Syria and France.
The shortlisted contenders are now in for the final stage in the competition and will present their business idea to the Chairman of Al Tamimi Investments (ATI), Essam Al Tamimi, who will make the final decision on which business idea ATI will back.
The CEO of Al Tamimi Investments, Rachael Wunsch, comments on the choice of finalists: “The three finalists have all proven professionalism, the right entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that their business idea is feasible to make it into a profitable business. Whoever the winner will be, I’m sure all the finalists will be successful in their future professional life”.
The finalist have all the same goal; to make their business idea a reality.
Nikhil Pradhan gives his thoughts behind his business idea: “I’m directing my entire time, energy and effort at developing a product which benefits, compliments and improves student lives all around the world.”
Ahmad Tarabishi remarks: “The main idea came from The Big Start Competition, which encouraged me to think about something that is not available here in the UAE. Since I am a college student, I know that there is a strong demand in this part of the region in the fashion sector.”
Yacine Daoud adds about his goal in business is: “My professional goal is to be setting up my own business, preferably a business which benefits my community and take it over the top”.
The winner will be announced at The Big Start Awards Ceremony on the 2nd July, 2013, in Dubai, together with the Top 5 universities supporting entrepreneurship and going one step further to bridge the gap between academia and the real business world.
The Big Start Round 1 Winners Announced
Wow. What a start to the season! The search for the best business idea among final year undergraduates and postgraduates students in the UAE is off to a wonderful start. The entries have carefully been shortlisted from 289 applications (111 female/178 male), which is the biggest number of applicants since the inception of the competition in 2009 (hooray!). With ideas in service, retail, education, food industry, medical & pharmaceutical industry, manufacturing, recycling and entertainment, the chosen entrepreneurs are now one step closer to get full funding and support to make their business idea a reality and become CEO of the newly established venture.
The finalists are in for an exciting educational & inspiring journey. First out is the Business Plan Workshop on the 27th April, where the entrepreneurs get guidance and expertise to develop a business plan for a new business. Each finalist will also get valuable a one-on-one mentoring session with the senior management team of Al Tamimi Investments. This will help the participants to progress further and increase their chance to be one of the finalists that will enter Round 3.
Another round of judging will take place in June and will decide which students go on to present their business ideas to Al Tamimi Investments Chairman, Mr. Essam Al Tamimi for their chance to win. The final winner will be announced early July at The Big Start Awards Ceremony.
Congratulations to all 25 shortlisted students below. They deserve it!
|Dana Al Dafaa||American University in Dubai|
|Yacine Daoud||American University in Dubai|
|Ahmad Tarabishi||American University of Sharjah|
|Amr Khalifa||American University of Sharjah|
|Nigel Pereira||BITS Pilani Dubai|
|Nikhil Pradhan||BITS Pilani Dubai|
|Bhavik Bhatia||Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus|
|Basel Kurdi||Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus|
|Priyal Ramdin||Hult Dubai|
|Evangeline Johnson||Manipal University|
|Yanxiang Wang||Masdar Institute of Science and Technology|
|Adel El Nasr||Masdar Institute of Science and Technology|
|Konstantinos Dimitropoulos||Masdar Institute of Science and Technology|
|Mohamed Al Sharhan||Masdar Institute of Science and Technology|
|Prabha Devi Maghoo||Middlesex University Dubai|
|Prateek Soni||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Saransh Patni||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Karishma Thawani||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Prateek Chawla||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Viswanath Sitaraman||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Swajot Singh||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Sahil Sheoran||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Sridath H H||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Rohit Gambhir||SP Jain School of Global Management|
|Raj Juneja||SP Jain School of Global Management|
New Submission Deadline: April 7, 2013
Good news, prospective student entrepreneurs in the UAE. We have received so many awesome submissions and so many more requests for late submissions, and so we decided to do something about that. So stop gulping down RedBull and pulling all nighters. The Big Start Season 4 submission round has been extended! You now have until April 7 23:59 GMT+4 to submit your awesome business idea. Isn’t that a relief? Good luck!
The Big Talk: a look at local entrepreneurship
Our annual inspirational event, The Big Talk,was all abuzz at the Make Business Hub, Dubai last evening. Our event gathered CEOs, entrepreneurs and students to share their expertise, views and success stories. The event brought together a diverse mix of business owners and successful entrepreneurs from all industry sectors in the region.
We were joined by our lovely host Sheena Khan, Knowledge Manager of The Change Initiative who led the discussion with a panel of inspiring entrepreneurs and founders of FitYou, Kcal Healthy Fast Food, My Metro Talk, Shoreditch Muse and URSOM. Also present to speak and network was AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization with experience in developing high-potential youth into globally minded responsible leaders.
The diverse audience was engaging and curious to learn from the panel of experts, who encouraged to think as an entrepreneur and to have the confidence to start up their own business. The panel also shared their expertise and stories about how they conceptualized their business ideas, their of the business plans as well as the lessons learned along their journey to success. It was a very personal and intriguing dialogue among the panel participants.
Shereen Mitwalli, Founder of The Female Network was speaking during the evening about the importance of entrepreneurship. She commented: “Entrepreneurship is the backbone behind any successful economy. Whether here in the region or internationally, we don’t need more ‘jobs’, we need more entrepreneurs that will drive innovation, create jobs and lead people to do amazing things”. This message was shared among the other entrepreneurs and as well reflected on the buzzing atmosphere of the evening.
Aditi Sen, our previous winner says, “It’s amazing to see all the students here today, it reminds me of when I attended The Big Talk last year, and I could never then have imagined that a year later, I would say that I was the winner of The Big Start Season 3. I’m now in the process of launching my business PetLove, a first-of-its-kind facility here to treat psychologically-ill patients using animal assisted therapy in the UAE. This would never have been possible without the support and funding from Al Tamimi Investments. I would like to wish everyone participating in Season 4 good luck and enjoy the experience and expertise that you will gain during this journey” said Aditi Sen, Founder of PetLove.
Come enroll in The Big Start! Submissions end on March 31 – that’s just sixteen days away. Good luck!