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15 promising entrepreneurs from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain participated in the recently held Boot Camp phase of Pitch@Palace GCC 1.0. They went through a series of exhaustive practical and analytical training and coaching program in preparation for the tough challenges that await them in the final pitching event.

The two-day Boot Camp was organized by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) at the Khalifa Innovation Center in Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi. The central theme of the program revolved around the importance of innovation in entrepreneurial success, growth, sustainability, and progress.

The Boot Camp featured both practical masterclasses and analysis sessions. In the practical masterclasses, the participants were encouraged to explore different approaches to innovation, whereas the analysis sessions saw them studying the intricacies of various business models, alongside the transformation fueled by innovations.

Hailing the partnership with the Office of HRH The Duke of York as strategically very important for the region’s startup ecosystem, H.E. Hussein Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “The Fund has succeeded in bringing the Pitch@Palace Global initiative to the UAE and the GCC region, and confirming the role of Khalifa Fund as a key driver in the country’s and region innovation agenda.”

He added: This much-awaited competition aligns with the Fund’s goal of providing diverse opportunities for the youth, enhancing cooperation between Entrepreneurs in the region and connecting them with the global entrepreneurship platform. It also supports reinforcing the UAE pioneering role in supporting entrepreneurship and creativity.”

The UAE edition of the competition drew a record number of participants this year. There were 91 participants in total, of which 63 were picked for the first and second on tours.