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A big boost to Syrian peer-to-peer shipping platform Shiffer’s regional expansion plans after the startup grabbed the limelight in the recently held Startup Roadshow competition.

The competition was hosted on Nov 28, 2018, on the sidelines of the “SPARK Ignite Conference: Rebuilding Futures in Amsterdam.” Shiffer, founded by Azhar Al Madani, a Syrian entrepreneur based in Iraq, won the competition after a rather close contest with nine other finalists.

Organized by Jusoor and Spark, in collaboration with Startups Without Borders, the Startup Roadshow served as a platform for Syrian entrepreneurs to demonstrate their innovations and business acumen. The 10 finalists at the competition represented diverse industries including AgriTech, digital security, HealthTech, and e-commerce. A demo day was also organized at the Ignite Conference in Amsterdam featuring five of the finalists.

Speaking of the importance of the opportunities brought along by the Startup Roadshow, Yannick Du Pont, founder and director of SPARK, said: “There were 700 applications to the roadshow, which makes us think that this is really scalable. There is so much more that we can do to help these companies become successful.”

He added: “That is going to be the next important step; because one thing is to start and to pitch, but becoming a business is very hard, even in the Netherlands, so I think we have to see how we can support this further.”

Fadfed, a HealthTech startup that offers a mobile app dedicated to helping out people struggling with mental health issues, secured the second spot at the competition.