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AUS students win Sheraa Start-Up Week Competition
A scooter-sharing venture proposed by two American University of Sharjah Students (AUS) won first place in Sharjah Start-up Week, one of the most popular start-up competitions organized by Sheraa, the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center.
Siddharth Singh, a senior majoring in economics, and Aasim Ahmed, a junior marketing major, won AED 25,000 and the opportunity to further develop their business idea and release it in the market. Sharjah Start-up week, a 54-hour event, brought together designers, developers and experts from all domains to build their business ideas and compete for the three top places.
“I first learned about the competition during my entrepreneurship course and contacted Aasim and proposed that we work on a project together. We decided to focus on gated communities and make transportation accessible, easy and cheap, especially as there are people there who struggle with cycling within the community,” said Singh.
Ahmed added: “Our idea focused on short-distance travel. We looked at transportation between colleges here at AUS or from the student dormitories to campus or even from AUS to the University of Sharjah. So, we came up with the idea of scooters for students. We worked for two continuous days looking at it from a business and a marketing perspective and carried out cost analysis.”
Students will be able to download an application on their mobiles that would allow them locate scooters they can use to get around campus. The team is also studying the feasibility of charging stations. “We are thinking at some point of using solar power for these stations to recharge the scooters,” said Singh.
As a result of their win, Sheraa will support the students by providing them with information on licensing issues and relevant regulations, and will help them raise funds for the project.
“The competition was a great experience. When we first decided to go for it, we did not expect anything but we wanted the experience. There is a lot to gain and nothing really to lose,” said Ahmed.
The two winners noted that the course work they had done at AUS empowered them to meet the Start-up Week challenge. “Every course I have taken at AUS has helped me in this 54-hour challenge. The business models and case studies were crucial as they helped us apply the theory we learned,” said Singh.