In spring 2019, GITEX (“Gulf Information Technology Exhibition“) reached out to us. Gitex is an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference that takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Its exhibitions in the Middle East have attracted numerous participants.
Having had a look at enpact’s track record in Africa and the Middle East, they approached us with a partnership proposal that entailed the sourcing of startups from four countries, Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana and Kenya – to attend their Supernova challenge: A pitching opportunity in front of global investors during the GITEX technology week in Dubai. Thus, we opened a competition within our network, received 50+ applications and sourced the three participants: Furnwish, El Coach, and Interact Labs.
The partnership with GITEX also included a joint exhibition booth where the startups, as well as enpact, were able to present in front of a broad public audience of entrepreneurship enthusiasts and global ecosystem players. All startups made great use of the existing networking, public exposure and chances to pitch. enpact also seized the opportunity to showcase our mentoring framework to GITEX 2019 attendees on the Mentoring Stage with a “Mentor your Mentor” session, explaining the mentor-mentee value exchange level.
The absolute highlight of the trip was the Furnwish team rocking the Supernova Challenge pitching competition. Furnwish were shortlisted in the international pitching competition, went all the way to the final and won the category “best woman-led tech startup”. Next to the international exposure and pitching in front of investors, there was a monetary prize of 10,000 USD. It also resulted in Furnwish building a strong network of regional and international investors and distributors in order to secure the needed seed investment of 500,000 USD.