The innovative business ideas of over seventy of the UAE’s young and aspiring entrepreneurs faced scrutiny from an expert panel of judges recently during Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai’s (RIT Dubai) eighth annual business competition.
Simulating the successful Reality TV show Dragons’ Den (UK) and Shark Tank (US), the teams of students from high schools across the UAE were invited into the ‘Tigers’ Den’ to pitch their idea for a product or service that aids the lives of those living and working in smart cities to a panel of experts, including Hans Henrik Christensen, Director of Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre and Dr Shahina Javad, Assistant Professor, Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour.
Each team was tasked with preparing a business plan for their idea, including outlining investment, profit share, a market analysis, a marketing strategy and five year financial predications. From ideas for a smart recycling bin to mobile dental trucks using the latest in smart technology and robotic construction devices, the level of thought and ingenuity of the plans presented from all competitors impressed the judges.
A team from Dubai Arabian American Private School clinched third place with their idea for a smart water park which recycled water from the ocean. It was a tough fought battle between first and second place, with just two points separating the team from GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis who came second with their creation of a Shatter Chamber – a purpose built, safe environment which allows visitors to indulge in therapeutic destruction – and another team from Dubai Arabian American Private School who captured the attention of the judges with their ‘tiny houses on wheels’ project – a transportable community that would help aid affordability of housing in the emrirate.
The winning team walked away with prizes including AED50,000 scholarships to RIT Dubai, whilst all participants automatically qualified for a ten per cent scholarship for September 2018’s intake.
Commenting on the competition, Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT Dubai said: “It is clear from the competitors who faced the Tigers’ Den today that the future of business innovation is in safe hands. There are young people who are coming up with outstanding ideas, who are concerned with healthcare, education, the environment, and who have the business prowess to turn ideas into reality and make our smart cities of the future places to be proud of.”