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Automated Arabic Diacritization App Wins Startup Weekend Beirut 2013 Competition

By Ahmed Zidan | November 26, 2013 | Section: Coverage |

“Shakkel”, an idea to create an automated Arabic language diacritization app, won the first place and $4,000 in cash and in-kind services at Startup Weekend Beirut (SWB) 2013 competition that concluded in Beirut Souks on Sunday night.

Twelve teams originally registered for the no-talk all-action 54 hour event, that took place between Friday and Sunday (22 – 24 November, 2013). Eight teams made it to the final day and only three winners made it to the podium, selected by a judging panel of four investors and entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend is an independently organized event that takes place in hundreds of cities around the world, where participants form teams, create startup ideas and prototypes with the help of mentors, and compete for cash and attention.

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Jeddah TechNight: Entrepreneurs Are Key to Creating Sustainable Knowledge-Based Economy in Saudi Arabia

By ArabNet | November 4, 2013 | Section: Coverage |

In 2013, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a new breed of innovative and forward-looking entrepreneurs that is gradually shifting the economy from an oil-dependent to a more knowledge-based nation. 

Entrepreneurs are fundamental for the growth of the economy in the Kingdom. According to a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), there are around 1.8 million micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises in Saudi Arabia, representing more than 93% of businesses in the Kingdom. 

To help startups overcome the huge challenges ahead of them, Saudi Arabia has taken serious initiatives to nurture the future generation of business leaders. One such initiative was ArabNet's Jeddah TechNight that was hosted by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) last week in partnership with Qotuf and Badir Programme for Technology Incubators.

The 150 young Saudi entrepreneurs and business leaders who attended the meetup discussed the entrepreneurship scene in KSA, shared their experiences, and got a taste of what awaits them at the bigger event, ArabNet Riyadh 2013.

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The Only Arab Finalist in MassChallenge 2013.. The Story of Husni Abu Samrah

By Ahmed Zidan | October 28, 2013 | Section: Coverage |

Husni Abu Samra, the founder and CEO of MobiStine for Arabic medical and health applications, will conclude four months of acceleration in MassChallenge 2013 in Boston on October 30, 2013. MobiStine is the only Arab company that made it to the finals of the competition this year.

MassChallenge, established in 2009, is considered to be the “world's largest accelerator”. Thousands of startups, ranging from raw ideas to established companies, applied to the 2013 competition. However, only 128 startups were chosen to be incubated for four months in the accelerator’s 27,000 square-foot office that overlooks Boston Harbor, and guided by over 200 high profile mentors. The competition’s prizes are 1+ million dollars awarded to 26 winner companies.

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From Twitter's NYC HQ: Six Winners of the Inaugural Vine Journalism Awards

By Ahmed Zidan | October 4, 2013 | Section: Coverage |

If you’re walking through Madison Avenue, a mile away from Times Square, you’ll never be able to pinpoint Twitter’s NYC headquarters (Tilt six floors up). Well, here exactly, Twitter hosted the first ever “Vine Journalism Awards” organized by Muck Rack, a social platform for journalists and media personnel based in NYC, on Wednesday October 2nd.

Vine, a six-second looping video sharing mobile app owned by Twitter, is being frequently used by news agencies, comedians, advertisers, and companies.

The invitation-only-event, which was attended by around 100 media personnel and Vine enthusiasts, focused mainly on journalists and storytellers, according to Greg Galant, CEO of Muck Rack.

Six winners spanning four categories were announced.

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