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AUS students take part in Startup Weekend Dubai
Students from the Student Leadership Program at American University of Sharjah (AUS) participated for the second time this academic year in the Startup Weekend Dubai, held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mansoor Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The event took place at the IMAX Theater at The Maydan Hotel in Dubai recently.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.
It is a 54-hour event where participants pitch technology startup ideas and form teams to compete for awards and cash prizes. Throughout the event, successful business leaders from the community mentor participants.
"Our students' involvement in workshops such as Startup Weekend Dubai puts in practice their innovation and creativity. Participating in this event allowed students to interact with industry experts and share multidimensional insights on major aspects of entrepreneurship, innovations and business opportunities," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. "We offer students these opportunities as a means to help them establish a culture that fosters creativity and innovation in communities."
Around 15 AUS students participated in the competition.
"Mehnaty is a student-organization online database that has user friendly features in which students are connected to the companies in their preferred sectors," said Hamad Al Ansari, a junior majoring in finance, whose group won the first prize at the event. "After connecting, they can view vacancies and stay up-to-date with market trends. This database helps students get a clear understanding of what to expect and what they are working towards. It also helps them set their goals and achieve them in a focused manner," he said.
"Mehnaty also provides students with a tool to stay connected and network in which it notifies them of international events worldwide and in their hometown," added Al Ansari. "The system posts upcoming conferences, seminars and important lectures to build the students skills and provides them with great opportunities to face tomorrow's ever-changing world," he said al Ansari, explaining the idea of their business.
Hamzeh Al-Fuqha', a junior civil engineering major, said: "Being part of Startup Weekend Dubai was a life-changing experience and an opportunity to be part of the Middle East's entrepreneurial uprising! In 54 hours, we were asked to come up with a business idea, form and manage a team, create a solid business model, build a functional prototype and eventually work on convincing the judges of the uniqueness and viability of the business idea. Startup Weekend Dubai was as much a chance for us to sell our ideas to the judges and the investors, as it was for us to challenge our potential and unleash the entrepreneur inside each one of us. Memories and lessons learned from this three-day event are priceless and truly a lifelong inspiration. The event is an experience that never ends and the experiences shared at this event should mean opening new windows for our generation."
The trip to the Startup Weekend Dubai was organized by the Student Leadership Program (SLP) at the university's Office of Student Affairs.