Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas to UK's Prince Andrew

Pitch@Palace competition provides Emirati entrepreneurs with a platform to highlight their projects to potential investors

Price Andrew, Duke of York, attends Pitch@Palace at Khalifa University last year. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Price Andrew, Duke of York, attends Pitch@Palace at Khalifa University last year. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The designers of a cooling suit for outdoor workers are among the winners of a prize designed to encourage entrepreneurship among young Emiratis.

The Aryam project, which attempts to keep workers comfortable in the heat, was picked alongside the makers of an Arabic leaning programme for children, an online system that connects patients with healthcate providers and an app designed to make home decoration easier.

In the UAE, Pitch@Palace competition, set up by Prince Andrew, the UK royal, helps provide Emirati entrepreneurs with the opportunity to highlight their projects to a global audience of potential investors.

It is backed by the Khalifa Fund, which aims to boost the private sector in the Emirates by encouraging UAE nationals to start their own businesses.

The winners were selected from a field of 12 finalists on Wednesday, with all the contestants already receiving expert support to help them develop their projects.

"Over the last three years, Pitch@Palace UAE has received strong response and remarkable success, proving itself as a strategic platform in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE,” said Hussain Al Nowais, chairman of the Khalifa Fund.

"We first launched this competition in 2016 as part of our strategy to promote entrepreneurship across the country, bolster and promote the culture of freelancing and amplify the work of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.

“We also aim at providing them with the opportunity to meet industry experts and receive support, mentoring, financing solutions and the opportunity to connect with local and global stakeholders and hear from industry experts to promote a self-employment environment within the country.”

They will now compete in a GCC-wide final for the Pitch@Palace regional final in Bahrain next month.

A global final will then be held in London in December.

Updated: October 10, 2019 10:36 AM

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