August, 03 2023

American University of Ras Al Khaimah gears to host 8 countries at the Middle East Startup Awards in January 2024

Innovation-driven technology start-ups and SMEs from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon


Innovation-driven technology start-ups and SMEs from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon will vie for recognition at the Middle East Startup Awards (MESA) 2022-23, hosted by the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK).

The Awards will be announced during a two-day conference and exhibition to be held on January 17-18, 2024.

Launched by Commerce Connect Events Exhibition and Management, the Middle East Startup Awards is part of the single largest independent startup ecosystem in the world, the Global Startup Awards. In its second edition, the initiative aims to celebrate the region’s tech based startups with a sector agnostic approach along with their renowned country ambassadors, experienced jury members and business partners.

Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, President, American University of Ras Al Khaimah said, “At AURAK, we take pride in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among students so that they are equipped to go into the world as entrepreneurs. We are therefore very pleased to extend support to initiatives like international award programs that will bring visibility to the University and contribute to the growth of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

Tarek Al Saman, Secretary of the Board, Emirates Angel Investors Association said the Middle East region is creating investment opportunities for new technologies and business models and they contribute via such events to the early stage investment ecosystem through their strong investor network.

Dr. Tahseen Anwer Arshi, Associate Professor at AURAK said, “As MESA is a prestigious awards event in the Middle East, the AURAK Center for Entrepreneurship will leverage this platform to promote startup culture among students and the community”.

Sagarika Sahoo, Co-Founder of Middle East Start Up Awards said the launch edition was successfully organised under the patronage of UAE Ministry of Economy and was supported by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Emirates Angel Investors Association (EAIA) with over 400+ final nominations. The regional finalists had the opportunity to showcase their solutions at Global Start Up Awards alongside some of the world’s top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and ecosystem enablers in Copenhagen, Denmark in April this year.

The contestants first compete at Middle East regional level before vying for their spot as a global finalist. Winners are then decided by an independent panel of judges, offering a holistic view of the Middle East tech-ecosystem. Interested SMEs can apply before 15 October 2023 on the MESA website (

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