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Alghanim Industries sponsors ‘Startup Weekend – Kuwait’ – Sponsoring for 4th year to support entrepreneurship among youth

The first place winners
The first place winners

KUWAIT: Alghanim Industries, one of the largest privately owned companies in the region, announced today its platinum sponsorship of ‘Startup Weekend – Kuwait’. It is the company’s fourth year in a row sponsoring the event, which brings together Kuwait’s designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to pitch business ideas and get feedback from judges. The event took place from last Thursday to Saturday at the Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) in Shuwaikh, with 125 participating entrepreneurs.

Participants announced their ideas on the first day, and then developed them over a 54-hour period starting from business model creation, to coding and designing, followed by market validation. At the end of the weekend, teams presented their prototypes to a panel of expert judges for valuable feedback.

The judges’ panel consisted of local experts from different backgrounds who have experience and knowledge in entrepreneurship, particularly in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This year, the judges were Senior Manager Corporate BD and M&A – Alghanim Industries, Tarek Trad; CTO – KuwaitNET, Bashar Al-Abdulhadi; Chief Business Development Officer at Kuwait Life Sciences Company, Dr Mussaad Al-Razouki.

Success factors
Concluding the event, Business Solutions Manager at X-Cite, Omar Almadani, presented key success factors for taking an idea and converting it to a reality. He shed a light on the importance of project management and planning, where it is essential to properly define what is in scope. He also mentioned the importance of awareness and being honest with one’s self. When there is an issue, you must admit to it and work on resolving it. He also talked about the importance of having the right skillset and talent working together to achieve a common goal. These are some concepts being used in practice in X-cite, one of Alghanim Industries’ companies.

Speaking about this year’s ‘Startup Weekend – Kuwait’, Tarek Trad said: “I really enjoyed attending ‘Startup Weekend – Kuwait’ and being on the judging panel this year. I had attended the event four years ago and I see that it grew significantly, and the business ideas are more mature and diverse. I hope to see this year’s participants continue their commercial projects and get the support they need. And I hope to see more young people join ‘Startup Weekend – Kuwait’ to realize their dreams and business ideas.”

Costa Coffee and Gulf Trading and Refrigerating Company (GTRC), both Alghanim Industries’ companies, participated in this event as well. Costa Coffee’s team was available all weekend to serve the event’s participants, while GTRC provided them with snacks.

Raise the bar
Organizer of Startup Weekend-Kuwait and Co-Founder of Coded Academy, Hashim Bahbahani said: “This year’s Startup Weekend surpassed the high bar set by the success of last year’s Startup Weekend Kuwait. The number of attendees and quality of ideas made for a lively competition full of ingenuity and innovation. Startup Weekend provides unique and invaluable learning experiences for anyone who wants to venture into the world of technology business and startups. And beyond that, every participant leaves the competition feeling inspired and driven to chase their dreams and start their journey as entrepreneurs.”

The first place winner of this year’s competition was ‘Maroon Box’, a mobile app that provides a customized style experience for its customers through a monthly package delivery of two outfits based on their preferences. The winning team received a check with a value of 1250 Kuwaiti Dinars.

Ahmad Al-Rawy, from the winning team said: “I learned so much over the past weekend. The main thing I learned is to compromise. When you have so many great ideas, you need to compromise some of them to be able to focus on execution. You also need to work well in teams, with different people from different backgrounds. I really enjoyed being part of Startup Weekend and I would love to do it again. I appreciate the experience and the network of the people I met and worked with there. I would like to thank the sponsors who help bring this event to life. Their contributions really boosts the entrepreneurial scene in this region, and it wouldn’t be possible without their generous sponsorships.”

This initiative comes as part of Alghanim Industries’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, which is committed to giving back to the community, supporting education and encouraging entrepreneurship. It is worth mentioning that the company was the Strategic Sponsor for the sixth Nuqat conference, which celebrates and encourages creativity in the Arab world. The company is also the largest supporter for INJAZ-Kuwait, as it encourages its employees to volunteer regularly in INJAZ’s different programs.

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