Aiming to provide exposure to business ideas of the tech startup community (regardless of location), TED plays host to DSO’s annual pitch competition, which offers cash prizes up to US$10,000 and free incorporation and incubation support in DTEC for the winners. DTEC invites seed-stage tech startups belonging to Smart city, IoT, ICT, Islamic economy, fintech, travel-tech, and health tech sectors to for the competition before October 20, 2016. Commenting on the number of startups that stand to benefit from the challenge, says, “Each year we receive 200+ applications from around the world. We shortlist 10 to come pitch on the day to a top-notch judging panel.” Fadoul adds that a few top criteria that will be used to screen the applications are “innovation, market fit and great teams.” As for the onstage pitches, she says that competing startups will be judged based on “the concept and its market fit, and the team and its ability to execute a solid and data-driven go-to-market plan.” In a first for the event, TED 2016 extends to a second day to include workshops for entrepreneurs. TED also makes space for a startup showcase area for businesses to exhibit and network, and startups shortlisted to pitch also get a free showcase space at the event.
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