Tuesday 20 October 2020 - 6:53:06 am

NAMA’s ‘Opportunity to Grow’ platform connects five women-led start-ups to investors at WEEGS 2019


SHARJAH, 12th December, 2019 (WAM) -- Five women-owned early-stage start-ups in the UAE were given the opportunity to present their businesses to leading investors during a session titled, "Opportunity to Grow", on the second day of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit yesterday.

QiDZ was recognised as the top start-up, while GetBEE and Finyal Media received honourable mentions, based on strong pitches made to an audience of top industry experts and angel investors, describing their businesses, their potential for viability, sustainability, actualisation and profitability.

A NAMA Women Advancement Establishment concept, the start-up pitch session was aimed at creating a new opportunity for women-owned early-stage start-ups in the UAE to scale up their businesses.

QiDZ was set up by a group of five exasperated women who found it impossible to organise children’s activities locally so they came up with a solution. Simona Agolini, the co-founder, said, "The QiDZ app is a way to find, share and update information on everything going on for children in Dubai. It is there to make life easier, help you plan and inspire you to have even more fun with your children."

GetBEE is a software-as-a-service consultancy that provides online coaching, virtual healthcare, online education, and professional training, among others, to businesses around the region. Thea Myhrvold, CEO and Founder, said, "With GetBEE, a business can offer live sessions that can happen at your office, home or on the go. Everything is integrated on your website and the software helps you keep track of the time spent per client, as well as monitor the results and effectiveness of all your online sessions."

Finyal Media, a production business that creates podcast content for young Arabs across MENA, identified a gap in the market for Arab-led content. The company was founded in 2018 by Mshari Alonaizy and Majid Al Qassimi with the intention of telling stories to help young people reconnect with the Arab world.

"Finyal is the first company in the Middle East to create and monetise an entire network of podcast series specifically for Arab listeners. We believe that the current media landscape is not championing our local culture in a modern way that is palatable to the younger generation and our podcasts aim to bridge the gap," said Leila Hamadeh Alanani, CEO.

Among the five finalists was a start-up called Le Majlis, an online platform for top brand and designer clearance sales. Founder, Bintou Macalou, told the investors that they deliver products worldwide.

Finally, The Scalable CFO founder, Oreabetse Matlhare, presented her start-up, which connects businesses to independent finance leaders.

The panel of investor judges comprised Vera Futorjanski, mentor and innovation director at 500 Startups; Neil Flemming, a MENA Angel Investor; Lucy Chow, Women’s Angel Investor Network; Sharif Al Badawi, 500 Startups, and Joumana Jallad, Mindshift Capital, who assessed the start-ups on a range of criteria to decide the winner.

WAM/ /MOHD AAMIR