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The ninth edition of ArabNet Beirut is just around the corner. The widely-anticipated event will take place on Feb 20th – 22nd, during which over 80 speakers from across the MENA region will get together and discuss growth opportunities in the realms of digital media, entrepreneurship, and other walks of life.

ArabNet Beirut 2018 will also include a Banking Innovation Track that aims to bring 150 bankers, agencies, and technology providers to discuss cutting-edge innovations in the banking sector such as mobile payments and smart branches. There will be two full tracks with one focused on digital products/channels and the other on digital marketing for banks.

The event will have a full day reserved for workshops only. As for competitions, there will be up to four competitions for emerging entrepreneurs and innovators across MENA. These include:

Innovation Avenue: It is a competition for developers, designers, and manufacturers of smart devices and/or hardware. The Innovation Avenue provides a platform for makers and innovators in MENA to demonstrate their products and network with media personnel, potential partners, investors, or other industry stakeholders that could help them grow their business. A jury will determine the top-six participants based on the criteria such as innovation, usability, and commercial viability, among others.

Creative Combat: This competition is for professionals associated with the creative industry. The Creative Combat challenge will screen emerging talents in the realms of advertising, communications, and other wings of the creative industry. The top-three finalists will get the chance to demonstrate and pitch their campaign ideas to a panel of experts and attendees. The winner will receive a cash award of $5,000.

Ideathon: The Ideathon competition has a simple premise: To find out the best startups at the idea stage in the mobile or web sector. 10 participants will qualify for the finals where they will get a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The top-three participants in the final round will receive cash prizes to turn their ideas into reality.

Startup Battle: The Startup Battle replaces the Startup Demo featured in the previous iteration of ArabNet Beirut. It aims to identify the most promising startups in the region and provide them with a platform to further their business objectives. The top-10 participants will have the chance to pitch locally, whereas the top-three teams will be taken to international stages so they can compete regionally.