What is The Big Start?

The Big Start is an annual student entrepreneur competition, which provides full funding and practical applications of business ideas to successful final year university/college students within the UAE.

How do I participate in The Big Start?

Students who have a big business idea and want to participate in The Big Start can apply by submitting their business ideas via our website www.bigstart.ae.

Do I have to enter online? Is there any other way of entering?

All entries to the competition must be made on-line. There is no alternative means of entering the competition.

Do I have to pay to enter?

Entry into the competition is free, however the participant will be responsible for any costs incurred, including any travel, accommodation and other expenses in relation to their participation in The Big Start competition.

How many applicants can participate in one project?

It is not possible to enter The Big Start as a group. Each project must be submitted and completed individually. Individual will be mentored to be the CEO of the business.

Can I enter more than one idea?

The participant may only submit one entry for the competition. This will be further developed by the participant should (s)he be selected to proceed to the further rounds of the competition.

Which language do I have to submit my Business Summary and Business Plan in?

Business summary, Business Plan and reports have to be submitted in English language only.

Which language is the competition conducted in?

The competition is administered solely in English. All your submissions as well as communication have to be done in English.

What are the basic requirements an applicant must satisfy?

Applicants must be an undergraduate or postgraduate in their final year of study, enrolled in the UAE with a valid residency visa and under 30 years of age at the time of the launch of the competition.

Which nationalities can apply?

The Big Start competition welcomes and supports diversity and is open to all nationalities. Expatriate students must have a valid residency visa.

Can non-resident students participate in The Big Start?

The Big Start has been designed to work within the rules and regulations of the UAE therefore we will not be able to accept non-resident students.

What age do I have to be to apply?

Students must not be over the age of 30 at the time of the launch of the competition.

I have a family member who works at Al Tamimi Investments, can I still apply?

Members of the immediate family of employees working at Al Tamimi Investments and individuals selected to be on the judging panel are not eligible for participation in the competition.

Will I have any specific business consultant assisting me to prepare my Business Summary and Business Plan?

Al Tamimi Investments has developed specific guidance for each step of the competition, as follows:

Round 1 Business Summary: This is a series of questions that you have to answer about your business idea and yourself on which you will be assessed to qualify for the next round.

Round 2 Business Plan Development: We will be holding a workshop session to assist students with the Business Plan preparation and during this we explain how to develop your idea into a successful business plan. The forum will also allow students to ask and get clarity on any questions they may have.

Round 2 One on One Sessions: We will be holding a series of individual mentoring sessions with the students to further develop their Business Plans and give them guidance along the way.

Round 3 Presentation Stage: At this stage Round 3 students will get the chance to meet with Al Tamimi Investments on how to prepare for presentations and get extra guidance on how to refine their Business Plans. Students will then pitch their idea to Al Tamimi Investments.

How long does the Business Plan Assessment process take?

The Big Start Calendar will give you an overview of the whole process and the deadlines that apply.

How can I determine the status of my application?

The Big Start will send e-mails to the participants to update them about the most recent status of their applications. Announcements of round winners will also appear on the website.

Legal Stuff

If I don’t win can I still use the idea after the competition?

In the unlucky event that you are unsuccessful, details of your business idea, other text, photographs, graphics, videos and presentations (basically any of the “Submitted Materials”) will remain the copyright of the participant.

Can I share my idea or except payment for ideas associated with The Big Start during the process?

Subject to the terms and conditions participants should understand that in taking part in The Big Start they are doing so for their own benefit and should not except any benefits financial or otherwise from any third party including, but not limited to the participant’s university of study and of its employees or contractors.

How am I protected?

Participants are protected by the terms and conditions of the competition.

What is the nature of the relationship between the winner and Al Tamimi Investment?

During the implementation of the winner’s business idea, the winner will be supported by Al Tamimi Investment’s business development team. The business will be a joint venture and the winner will hold a management position within the newly established company. The winner may also get the opportunity to share in a structured shareholding in any new entity established for the implementation of the business idea, terms that can be negotiated between the winner and Al Tamimi Investment.

If I won, will I receive a salary?

Yes. Winners of The Big Start will be employed as CEO of their business therefore they will receive a salary.

Who is the legal owner of the business?

The terms of the joint venture between the winner and Al Tamimi Investment will be negotiated during the implementation of the business.

Can I invest my own money?

The competition is designed for students and as such they lack the proper investment background. That is why we help them overcome this by offering 100% investment. However, the conditions of the JV agreement between the winner and Al Tamimi Investments will be negotiated and may include a different ownership structure.