ABU DHABI: More than 160 ambitious young students entrepreneurs from high schools and universities all around the UAE gathered yesterday at the Abu Dhabi University for the launch of the “1st Abu Dhabi Global Summit for Young Entrepreneurs” and the “Idea Factor Competition”.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minster of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Vice-President of Abu Dhabi University’s Board of Regents, the summit was organized in strategic collaboration with “We are the Future”, a social enterprise, and aimed to enhance the culture of innovation and inspire young minds to be future entrepreneurs.
Addressing the young entrepreneurs, Bruce Walker Founder and CEO of “We are the Future” shared his experience that started when he was only 17 years old. “It was in high school when I realized that there is gap in the market for people who want to know all about how to start a business. I got together with a few friends; we decided to put on an event that evolved into the worldwide global youth entrepreneurship movement ‘We are the Future’.
“Through it, we travel the world and work closely with universities to organize conferences, workshop, summits and competitions that provide young entrepreneurs with a platform where they can share their business ideas and receive advice from experts on how to take it further. The Abu Dhabi Global Summit for Young Entrepreneurs is part of that global youth movement.” With the “i360 accelerator” incubator programme looking to participants of the “Idea Factor Competition” to qualify for the accelerator’s upcoming round in February 2015, Mohammed Hamdy Managing Director of “Turn8” said: “As an accelerator we look for ideas that deal with technology and qualify to enter our program. It provides participants with training and team building to the stage where their business idea is monetizable and commercialized. So the competition is a perfect venue that allows us to scout for innovative young entrepreneurs to join the ranks of the 33 start-ups that we have invested in so far.” Upcoming entrepreneur Farah Al Qaissieh, Founder and CEO of “Discover Dhabi” shared her experience with the participants in developing a mobile application that targets the tourism industry in Abu Dhabi from a fresh perspective. “Discover Dhabi” is an interactive virtual treasure hunt map that allows tourists to discover Abu Dhabi through an adventure. “Although the app is set to launch in March 2015, the journey to get this far wasn’t easy but it’s absolutely worth it. As young entrepreneurs, I advise you to accept change, create a personal brand, build a network of contacts and always have passion about your idea.” Jaafar al Aydaroos Founder of “Upscale Decor” and Fatima Shirawi Founder of the “Gracious F” also shared their experiences.