[U-START] powered by

[U-START] powered by Khalifa Fund 

University Startup Competition is held as a part of Innovation Arabia 13 and is a nationwide competition for university students' startups. The competition encourages student entrepreneurs with either an innovative or a business startup idea to submit a business pitch to a panel of judges.

You will have the opportunity to present your business idea to a jury of established entrepreneurs, government officials, funding institutions, and educators who can lend their support if you convince them!

Come prepared with your presentation and prototype, and get the chance to win a prestigious reward, or an incubator to support you, or a club of entrepreneurs to welcome you.

Why Participate?


Get the opportunity to pitch your business to a panel of expert judges with a goal to attract investment and prizes.


Showcase your product to national and international visitors of the IA13 conference.


Network with other like-minded startups founders and share your fun and hustle.


Gain knowledge as founders, investors and industry leaders share their insights through interactive discussions, chats and panels.


Unlock opportunities and connect with our network of investors and corporate partners.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Startup must at least be at the prototyping/ MVP phase.
  • Startup must be in operation for no more than 3 years.
  • At least one of the owners must be a part of the university student body.

First Round – Deadline: February 12th, 2020

  • Students will submit a short summary of their startup idea and how they plan on being profitable directly on our website.
  • The summary must contain the following information:
    Problem description, proposed solution, advantages of the idea compared to competitors (if there are any competitors), potential customers, startup's value proposition, pricing and sales strategy, financing plans and their visions for the future.
  • Experienced academicians and Industry professionals will review the applications. The most promising ideas will enter the second round.

Second Round – Live Pitch at IA13

  • The top 10 applicants will enter the final round of the Startup Competition.
  • The final round will take place in Innovation Arabia 2020 on February 24 2020, in Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
  • The final competitors will have 8 minutes to pitch for their product to a jury of experts in the field and a 7 minutes Q&A session.
  • The final top three teams will have the chance to win prizes as well as several other valuable resources.