GUST Teams Win in Three of Top Five Position at the Startup Kuwait
Three teams from GUST won top spots at the 2016 Startup Kuwait National Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge, under the patronage of the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Yousef Al Ali. The event was also attended by the Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Al Humoud Al Sabah.
Startup Kuwait is an initiative launched by the Global Centre of Kuwait University to encourage students to understand the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship, and be able to work on and launch their own business ideas.
As a part of this initiative, students were encouraged to work on innovative ideas that can be realistically and successfully turned into real businesses. More than 600 students forming over 100 teams, including 73 from GUST, presented their ideas and went through several competition rounds before getting to the final. Only 12 teams were able to make it to the final round, 5 of which were from GUST. Other participating universities in the final round included AUK, ACK, Box Hill College, and Kuwait University.
During the final round, five winners were selected out of the 12 participants who presented their ideas to a judging panel; consisting of famous Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak, Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, and Mr. John Preston who supervises research commercialization efforts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The three winning teams from GUST were:
- LunchBoxer: Nouf Al Rammah and Latifa Al Shallal
- Arena: Hussein Al Hunaidi
- BabyGaurds: Nabeelah Al Sabah and Feddah Al Sager
(See their photos in the GT gallery: gt.gust.edu.kw/gallery)
The winners were announced in a special ceremony, where 21 of the participating teams – nine from GUST - were given another chance to exhibit their business ideas to the audience of investors, entrepreneurs, and were able to solicit support and feedback.
GUST President, Professor Donald Bates said, “GUST ranking within this competition is proof that we as an institution are equipping our students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in life after graduation. Congratulations to all and we are proud of our students and the effort, creative energy and hours devoted to these projects.”
Other teams participating from GUST were “Hire Me”, by Khaled Al Mutairi, Yousef Al Rashed, and “965 Decks” by Amal Al Ali, Deema Al Najjar, and Lolwa Al Shatti.
Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Al Humoud Al Sabah, said, “I am very proud to attend this competition which seeks to encourage our youth to pursue entrepreneurship, foster innovation, and to inform people on the virtues of an entrepreneurial mentality. Such initiatives create a more diverse economy which will support Kuwait’s future and its standing.”
Startup Kuwait was formally launched in November 2015 and is backed up by a government allocation of KD2 billion to fund and support businesses. This is the first Startup Kuwait challenge competition. The Global Center plans to hold similar versions of this competition every semester from here onwards.