Manama, 11 November 2009
The MENA Centre for Investment and the MENA-OECD Investment Programme brought together the 16 finalists of the MENA 100 Business Plan Competition in Bahrain.
The MENA 100 Business Plan Competition was launched in June 2009 by the MENA-OECD Enterprise Financing Network (EFN), in co-operation with the MENA Centre for Investment in Bahrain, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and UNIDO.
During the MENA 100 day on 11 November, each team made a final pitch to compete for 3 regional prizes totaling USD 55 thousand. Evaluation criteria included business vision, quality of team, market potential, innovation, and robustness of financials estimates.
Following the presentations, the jury of regional and international judges voted on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes in a closed working session.
The 2009 MENA 100 Business Plan Competition’s three winners are:
- First prize: Turbo – Morocco: An innovative and high-tech after sales service centre concept for automobile owners led by two young ladies with extensive experience in the automotive industry
- Second prize: BioBusiness – Egypt: Manufacturing of scanning systems and non-invasive blood glucose monitoring solutions led by a team of three young engineers graduated from the Biomedical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University
- Third prize: CiaApple – Jordan: Artificial intelligence software for customer relationship management and online marketing launched by a young engineer graduated in computer engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology
Through the support of its sponsors and partners, the MENA 100 was able to recognise the three top performers with cash awards amounting to USD 30 thousand, USD 15 thousand and USD 10 thousand for the first, second and third winner, respectively.
After the award ceremony, a marketplace connecting 50 promising entrepreneurs with different sources of finance took place. Participating financial institutions included the Gulf Finance House, ABRAAJ capital, TAMKEEN, the Bahrain Development Bank but also La Caixa, Riva Y Garcia private equity, Nomura Investment Banking, Capinnova etc.
The entrepreneurs were able to make useful contacts and part of MENA 100’s mission is to assist in follow-up.