More than 70 teams from 15 Arab countries are now competing for the top prizes of the 2016 MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, which is set to kick off in April.
After thousands of applications were received from 21 Arab countries, 78 semifinalists qualified for the ninth edition of one of the biggest entrepreneurship competitions in the Arab World.
Egypt leads with 19 teams, followed by Jordan, which has 10 teams competing. Lebanon and Tunisia each have seven competing teams, while Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Palestine each have six semifinalists.
The Egyptian startups include Mumm, a tech startup that allows users to order online home-cooked meals prepared by housewives and freelance chefs in Egypt, and Hendaam, a tech startup that allows users to shop online for professionally styled outfits tailored to the individual.
The latter is a smart online lending service that uses a streamlined scoring system to evaluate the worthiness of loans. It then allows users to borrow money and pay it back within 30 days without having to endure the hassle of going through a bank.
The Lebanese startups include Fallound, an innovative hands-free voice driven social networking platform that allows users a personalized audio communication service.
Tunisia's startups include WebRadar, an online data management service that provides professionals brand reputation reports through information collected from social media.
The startups from Saudi Arabia, whose number has seen a significant increase in this year's competition, include Artistia, an online shopping website that provides Arab artists and designers the platform to sell their handmade crafts, goods and artwork.
The UAE's competing semifinalists include Loujee, the tech startup that created the first educational smart toy to interact in Arabic.
Palestine's startups on the other hand, include Snap Goal, an innovative app that allows football fans to stay updated by receiving real-time footage of the match goals of their favorite teams.
The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, which was founded in 2005, works to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the Arab World.
The competition awards cash prizes to the top three winners in each of its three main sections: The Startups Track, the Ideas Track and the Social Entrepreneurship Track. It also provides training, mentorship, exposure and networking opportunities.
This year's 78 semifinalists are attending pre-boot camps in several Arab countries where they are receiving entrepreneurship-focused training before the lean startup training starts on Apr. 11.
The finalists from each track will be announced on Apr. 13, followed by the official announcement of the winners on Apr. 14 at Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City, where the awards ceremony will be held.