The Next Founder Competition

  • Competition Date:
    1-4 February 2024
  • Time:
    10 am to 4 pm
  • During the National Science and Technology Innovation (NSTI) Festival, 1 – 5 February 2024
  • Location:
    Dubai Festival City Arena
  • Who can participate?
    Students from public or private Higher education institutions (Bachelor, Master, or Ph.D. students). The participants should have business ideas and started operations on a small scale, for instance (begin as home-based businesses, start on social media channels, or freelancers). Note: it is NOT mandatory to have a trade license.

Brief about the Competition?

A fully integrated designed competition aims to empower the target audience with the necessary entrepreneurial skills by offering them a unique blend of services such as vocational training, mentorship, and complete guidance throughout their entrepreneurship journey. The participants will be enrolled in a 3-days Bootcamp to redesign their innovative business models and enable them to harness their skills and knowledge and practice genuine business experience through mentorship and networks.

The main objectives of the competition

  • Enable new start-ups to create scale, value, and develop their business models through vocational training and valid inputs on strategy and execution.
  • Coach & mentor start-ups to learn how to manage their expectations and implement successful entrepreneurship habits.
  • Support start-ups to launch their business with a solid foundation and gain confidence in starting up a business by providing them with an excellent opportunity to develop a network with professionals in the field to have fast access to market and finance.

Competition Focus Skills

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Passion & Energy
  • Ability to network
  • Opportunities discovery
  • Goal mindset
  • Risk-taking
  • Resilience

How many will participate in the challenges at Festival?

A final list of 20 students

Is there an entry fee?

No. There is no charge to enter the Competition.

How will the students participate?

  • Students wishing to participate will record a short video according to the below specifications.
  • Finalize the registration process through the registration link (all required data must be completed along with all the required documents)

Students should record video according to the guidelines/specifications below:

  • Duration no longer than 60 seconds.
  • Videos must be uploaded as one single file of the highest quality.
  • Student should show clearly in adequate lighting.
  • Sound effects may be used.
  • Kindly don’t use any copyrighted material unless the author authorizes it
  • The video should include:
    1. Name, age, and student short Bio
    2. Brief about the project idea, highlighting the main distinguishing features of your idea, your target audience, and the value you will present to your target audience.

What are the terms and conditions of the competition?

  • Participation is open to all nationalities
  • The video of the competition should be uploaded with the registration
  • Fill out the competition registration form
  • The number of participants in each project should not exceed 2 participants (The participant can invite their team of up to 4 candidates to attend the boot camp with them).

Competition Focus Skills

  • Art
  • Design
  • Education
  • Fashion
  • Tourism and travel services
  • Healthcare
  • Film and Video
  • Food
  • Gaming
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Publishing
  • others

How will the competition be implemented?

  • After completing the registration process, qualified students are selected
  • The qualified students will be communicated officially to inform them of all the competition procedures
  • Students will be participating in a 3-day Bootcamp from the 1st of February till the 3rd of February 2024
  • The students will pitch their projects in front of the judging panel on 4th February 2024
  • The judges will select the winners
  • Winners will be honored during the honoring ceremony on February 5 as part of the closing ceremony of the Festival
  • Note: The Top 5 winners will be eligible for full support in launching their businesses through incubators membership, extra seed funding, and mentorship & training opportunities with specialized entities.

Important Requirements & Dates:

  • 14th January 2024:
    Registration and Video submission deadline

Data to be collected from submission:

  • University Name
  • University Emirate
  • University Type (Private or Government)
  • Student Name
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Student education level (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.)
  • Student email address
  • Student phone number
  • Student Emirate ID
  • Student Short Bio (maximum 300 characters attached linked in profile is acceptable)
  • Project name
  • Full description of the project (500 characters maximum)
  • Project website link and social media accounts link, if any
  • 19th January 2024:
    The qualifying students will be invited to attend a virtual induction session to be informed of all the essential competition information.
  • 5th February 2024:
    The winners will be announced and awarded during the Festival closing ceremony.