Young Technology Innovators Challenge Each Other In an IoT Competition
In November 2015, an innovative Internet of Things (IOT) – IoT competition – Challenge ME! was held. The competition was organized by Intel Corporation and managed by Potential.com across the MENA Region. The aim of the program was to expose and excite youth on the various opportunities that are available to them in the IOT space.
Various education institutes, business incubators, the private sector and NGO’s from the Middle East collaborated together in helping the event to be a success. The final event was hosted by Berytech in Beirut, whereby Potential.com was the Managing Partner. The aim of the event was to help the youth develop their creative potential so that they can participate in their respective economies as entrepreneurs.
The IOT Competition ME competition highlighted the following:
Innovative projects in a vibrant and competitive atmosphere, designed to bring out the potential of participants and their projects.
A three-day workshop to train young participants, so that they are better able to improve their project efficiency for a successful future.
A platform to encourage networking within the region, as well as collaboration between entrepreneurs and technology innovators.
The IOT Competition final event which was held in Beirut Lebanon, attracted young people with passion as well as advanced technology skills, looking to create solutions that can enrich lives. Following the three day workshop and training, the final event took place where the project finalists were given the opportunity to present their projects before a jury committee.
The competition included a total of 70 projects from different countries within the MENA region. From these, 16 were selected as finalists. Each project finalist was given the opportunity to pitch their project to a jury committee within a 3 minute period. The Jury asked the presenters questions about their projects, whereby awards were given to the best three projects.
The three winners received cash prizes totaling USD 15,000 and the top two winners also received the chance to take part in the “Intel Challenge Up!” competition taking place in London in December 2015. “Load Me” was the winning project, coming from the United Arab Emirates. In second place from Palestine was for the “UB Card” project, and the third winner was from Jordan for the “Portable Neck Treatment Device” project. Two other participating projects with great potential were invited to visit to the Intel IoT Ignition Lab in Dubai and the chance to participate in an extensive technical training course.
His Excellency Boutros Harb, The Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, addressed the attendees of the Challenge ME competition, expressing his appreciation as the host in Beirut, as well as the efforts of the organizers and young participants. He also highlighted the role that Intel played as a leading multi-national company for choosing the best, adding that the participating projects had a unique value for connecting people and humanity.
The Regional Director of Intel MENA, Eng. Taha Khalifa, spoke after the Minister and congratulated all the participants who won, appreciating the efforts they had made towards attaining success. He attributed the success of the event to Potential.com and Berytech, along with the other collaborating partners. He also highlighted that the Challenge ME! Competition is a part of the Intel Innovation Initiative.
The Chairman and CEO of Berytech, Maroun Chammas, was glad to ride the Internet of Things wave with key partners in the industry and said that Berytech was committed to providing the Lebanese finalists with all the support they need to help them grow and become successful entrepreneurs.
The Challenge ME! competition is unique and encourages regional participation in the technological field. Be enabling entrepreneurs and key partners to network with young innovators, business development, sharing cultural ideas and expertise will help to bring together entrepreneurship and technology in the future.
As the Internet of Things is one of the fastest growing technology trends in the region, it is expected to yield more pioneer opportunities in the technology field in the years to come.
Apart from the IOT Competition, Intel Corporation has partnered with Potential.com across the MENA region over the last 5 years in delivering other entrepreneurial programs focused on youth empowerment. In the process, we have developed over 15,000 youth and had hundreds of jobs created.