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Young Emiratis showcase their wares at tech start-up challenge
Date: 14-05-2018
An innovative app that connects FM companies with tenants has won the top prize in the first du Emirati Startup Challenge held at Zayed University recently. Developed by 22-year-old Emirati Khalid Al Awar and Abdullah Al Hashemi, the integrated online system ‘Mabany’ topped 30 contestants from UAE universities who pitched various tech related startup ideas that focused on solving issues in the UAE community. 
The nationwide challenge was launched as a platform that seeks to encourage young Emiratis to develop their innovative ideas and business plans by providing them mentorship and funding and also putting them in touch with potential investors. Some 18 semi-finalists presented their pitches to Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, and a panel of judges from Zayed University.
Al Awar, co-founder of Mabany, received Dh 25,000 in funding for a project he developed that aims at easing communication between FM companies and end users, tenants. “Mabany is a business to business (B2B) software, a service cloud solution that connect facility management companies operating in residential buildings with the tenants, ensuring the best user experience,” said Al Awar, co-founder of the business and a graduate from Khalifa University.
The business, he said, began as a graduation project at Khalifa University that was later developed. The mobile app would allow tenants to easily submit a request to the facility management company stating their preferred time and even attach photos of, for example, a water leakage. “I will use the funds from the prize to focus on customer acquisition. My project is highly scalable and low in maintenance but marketing it and acquiring customers is important at this stage.”
Winning the second prize with Dh15,000 of funding was the start-up Emit, an on-demand personal shopping application that can deliver in less than two hours. While third prize went to two winners, the start-up business Fursah by Maryam Bel Houl and DriveLess by Faisal Al Hawi, who each received Dh10,000.
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