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Telecom giant Zain Group has confirmed its digital partnerships for the coming edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF). The pan-Arab startup competition will be held in a virtual setting this year against the backdrop of the menacing COVID-19 crisis. 

To ensure smooth execution of MITEF 2020, Zain has allied with Community Jameel (Main Partner) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (innovation partner).

The annual conference and the accompanying competition will be organized across three tracks this year as well. The three tracks include – Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship. 

Over 4,000 applicants have already sent their entries for the competition, of which, only 53 applicants have proceeded on to the semi-finals. 16 of the semi-finalists have qualified for the Ideas track, whereas the number of contestants in the Startups and Social Entrepreneurship tracks stand at 21 and 16 respectively.

The winners will be awarded with cash rewards, top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and networking opportunities, among other perks.

Speaking on the decision to take MITEF 2020 to the virtual arena, Maya Rahal, Managing Director of MITEF Pan Arab commented: “We all are truly excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Zain Group for our first all-digital competition. It is through such partnerships with transformational players in the digital ecosystem that we can overcome the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.”

Rahal further added that: “In times such as these, we are only as strong as the entities we cooperate with, and we are proud to have established lanes of synergy over the course of 13 years organizing the MITEF Arab Startup Competition. I want to take this opportunity to invite everyone to join our upcoming virtual conference on June 24, which will mark a turning point in all our future programs and initiatives.”

The semi-finalists will be required to pitch their innovation, business idea, and answer all questions regarding their business model, growth roadmap, and value proposition.