Africa Cover

Interactive Sensors brought to the fore

Startup Competition Winners
Opening Day

….As Future City event,et al end in Dubai

Mohammed Abu,ADM,Accra

The Future Cities and Startup shows which were held in conjunction with ,the main Annual Investment Meeting(AIM) 2019 event  ,recently ended  in  the Dubai emirate,UAE,  on successful note with a  highlight on  the need for  smart cities to deploy a network of interactive sensors to achieve efficiency and innovation.

Held under the theme ‘Propelling Globalization through Digital Transformation’, the show hosted several public, private and individual entities that displayed innovative technologies at the show.

The event  focused on five leading future city solutions, namely AI, blockchain, smart infrastructure, smart mobility, and sustainability while also providing a platform to ensure that the latest technological projects will have the opportunity to secure medium- to large-scale investments.

Some of the key participants were Exelen- a solution provider that aims to provide high quality electronic solutions to its customers.With key competenciesas System Engineering FPGA Design Hardware/Firmware Development 3D Drawing Mechanics and system integration, Exelen encourages creative and innovative thinking in the delivery of innovative Electronic Solutions.

Also, present at the show was Stallion AI that provides artificial services, solutions, and products to help organizations across different industries to implement AI.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Samer Obeidat, Managing Director said, “AI machines can read and understand documents, recognize images, and analyze massive amount of data to capture patterns, produce insights, and predict the future

“It is creating a huge economic impact in the region by reducing uncertainties and helping companies and governments take the right decisions. It helps them function smoothly and seamlessly, get fast and accurate feedback on products and services, interact better with customers and the public, and arrive at smart solutions. In fact, there is a USD 180 billion impact on the UAE alone, because of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is the future, it is now, and it is big.”

The event also attracted the likes of Keo International and Taiger Singapore – which specialise in Knowledge Work Automation™ solutions and  Finesse FZ LLC – a global system integration company.

“We are highlighting Qlikr, an end-to-end data management and analytics platform built to transform your entire business for the digital age. Qlikr helps enterprises around the world move faster, work smarter and lead with an end-to-end solution for getting the most possible value out of data.

“Our platform is the only one in the market that allows for open-ended curiosity-driven exploration, giving everyone at any skill level, the ability to make discoveries that lead to transformation.Dubai is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and is very quickly adapting to the global digital scenario.

“ It is a competitive market out here, and technology offerings need to truly differentiate themselves, to stay ahead of competition. We are very pleased that we had an opportunity to participate in this show, and look forward to participating again,” said Tanya Jain, Communication and Marketing Manager, Finesse FZ LLC.

Other important exhibitors at the show included companies as Overdrive, a true IoT platform, targeting smart devices and sensors on the move, and Parsons- a digitally enabled solutions provider with a focus on making the world safer, smarter, healthier, more sustainable, and more connected.

Opening Day

The AIM startup, was opened on the 8th April by Dr. Adeeb Al-Afifi, Director of the National Program for SMEs and Projects, Ministry of Economy,

Present were H.E., Abdulla Alsaleh, Undersecretary of Ministry of Economy, H.E.,Mr. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia and H.E.Alhaj Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The event  was held under the theme “Harnessing Global Digitization to Empower Startups and SMEs”, in partnership for National Program for SMEs and Projects as both are the fruits of innovative ideas that help in boosting national economy.

Dr. Adeeb Al-Afifi noted “This event is a great opportunity for startups and young companies to know more about investment opportunities and close them,”adding, “AIM Startup is a great platform  for businesses, entrepreneurs, banks and financial companies to network and connect with right individuals.”

AIM Startup aims to connect the country’s new generation of young entrepreneurs who are looking to run their own startup companies with potential investors and business partners from across the world.

Walid Farghal, Director General of Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions, organizer of AIM Startup, said: “We have a number of young talents in the country who are eager and inclined to use their skills in establishing unique startups with significant socio-economic impact.

“ AIM Startup is a platform to give them an international venue to meet and engage with investors, expand their networks, and learn and explore opportunities as they work to turn their dreams into a reality by starting their own businesses.”

In addition to the UAE, start-up scene in Saudi was a highlight of discussion on the first day of the event. Saudi is the most promising market in the region with a lot of scopes for startups and small business enterprises. Currently, there are 950,000 SMEs in the region and it is anticipated that SMEs contribute to around 35 percent of the GDP.

A participant of special mention at this year’s Future Cities Show is Esri, a global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, which offers the most powerful geospatial cloud available.

Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including the world’s largest cities, most national governments, 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. ESRI is positive about FDI in UAE.

Pitch Competition of AIM Startup

A special side attraction of the AIM Startup show was the pitch competition that drew over 120 startup companies with five emerging as winners who went home cash prize of 10,000 dollars each on the basis of Social Impact Pitch, Early Stage, Growth Stage and Intermediate Level.

All three events together pulled 20k attendees.





About the author


Chief Correspondent,,West Africa Region,African Development magazine

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