Desolenator, a Dutch startup developing solar-powered water purification technology, won the Supernova Challenge at North Star, winning the top prize of $100,000, with the 13 winners in each category each taking home $8,000 in competition prizes. 26 finalists presented themselves to a panel of global icons and tech influencers, including David Cohen (Co-Founder of Techstars), Mike Butcher (Editor at Techcrunch), Karim Konsowa (Partner, Dubai Future District Fund) , OG Arabian Prince (Co-Founder of NWA), Natalie Kolbe (Managing Partner of Norrsken22) and Susan Marie (Executive Vice President of Strategy, Arizona Commerce Authority).
The Supernova Challenge is the largest start-up launch competition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and, with $200,000 in cash prizes, a North Star highlight. This year’s Supernova Challenge attracted over 600 entries from over 41 countries.
The winner of the Top MENA Start-up award was Oman’s Galactech, an e-sports entertainment company.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, said, “North Star Dubai and the Supernova Challenge offer a unique opportunity for international start-ups to achieve transformational milestones on their growth journey. It continues to attract leading innovators of the future, all of whom choose North Star Dubai as their platform to engage with global investors and bring their ideas to the Middle East region. The ideas presented at North Star Dubai and the Supernova Challenge have the potential to have a significant impact on the digital economy.
In the Oman Technology Fund Pitch Battle, sponsored by Oman Technology Fund and ITHCA Group, nine start-ups were selected from a shortlist of 30 finalists to win a total of up to $1 million in investments following their successful presentation to a panel of experts. .
Online service provider, Nashid; personal watercraft company, Seavo and teletherapy platform, SgharToon received investment checks for $150,000 each. The companies each receiving $50,000 investment checks were travel platform Godoba; sports and leisure booking company Tamreen; peer tutoring platform, Unitors; auto parts platform, X Garage; 3D printing company, Binaa Express and property management company Mulk.
In the “Move the World” Innovation Cup, sponsored by AHOY, three winners were selected by a jury of local, regional and international experts, investors and entrepreneurs to share a credit of one value of 175,000 USD. The Trailblazers award was given to CLROBUR from South Korea, the Future Innovators award was won by Visual Camp also from South Korea and the Most Promising Startup Team award was given to Biel Digital Glasses from Spain .
GITEX GLOBAL also announced the expansion of North Star into Expand North Star, diversifying and capitalizing on growing international interest in the UAE start-up ecosystem. Scheduled for May 10-12, 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Expand North Star will showcase a creative new format to expand its engagements with venture capitalists, unicorns, scale-ups, start-ups and key stakeholders in the ecosystem technology.