Ecopreneurship Programme winners announced during COP28

Middle East | December 16, 2023 11:51:47 PM IST
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Sharjah [UAE], December 16 (ANI/WAM): Winners of the "Ecopreneurship Programme" were announced during COP28, recognising sustainable innovation and advancements within the AI, logistics and agriculture sectors.

This programme, in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Expo City, is curated by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation as a strategic partner to the Ministry of Education (MOE) under the Greening Communities Pillar of the UAE's Green Education Partnership.

Initiated in October of this year, the programme received an overwhelming response with over 1,000 applicants from the region and the world, culminating in the awarding of three exceptional teams whose innovative projects were pitched in front of an international audience at the MOE's Pavilion at COP28, promising to make lasting contributions to a greener future.

The 3 winning teams, namely, EcoSat; Golden JoTree; and AIN by TYAR, were awarded with an equity-free grant of AED 50,000 each, allowing them to further develop their concepts and become market ready. This accolade also propels these teams into a 16-week Accelerator program, a critical juncture where their innovative ideas will be nurtured to fruition by Sheraa and their Experts-in-Residence (EiRs).

EcoSat, a visionary project utilising satellite imagery and AI models to monitor pollutant sources globally, aims to play a crucial role in the fight against climate change by pinpointing emissions affecting air quality and public health. Their groundbreaking approach to accurate emissions tracking lays a crucial foundation for proactive solutions to combating air pollution.

Golden JoTree is aiming to generate revenue through locally sourced jojoba oil production and distribution to elevate the UAE's position in the market. Their concept plans to implement innovative agriculture techniques that improve soil quality while enriching the entire supply chain and industry.

AIN, by TYAR, introduces an innovative self-sustained smart irrigation system powered by artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies. With the ambitious goal of reducing water consumption in the UAE agricultural activities by 15% by 2028, AIN provides concise summaries to users via a user-friendly mobile app, revolutionising water management in agriculture.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the program, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa said, "Through this Ecopreneurship Programme, we are nurturing solutions to create a future where innovation seamlessly integrates with sustainability, enhancing Sharjah's dynamic entrepreneurial landscape. At Sheraa we are dedicated to cultivating a vibrant ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs, and encourages sustainable business practices. We are confident that the concepts refined through this initiative, and the individuals behind them, will serve as prime examples of what is possible when eco-conscious innovation receives support and guidance. In the UAE's Year of Sustainability, our presence at COP28 was a resounding affirmation of our dedication to addressing global challenges, where purpose-driven ventures spearhead efforts to construct a sustainable and resilient future for all."

The Ecopreneurship Programme supported entrepreneurs through a transformative journey, beginning with a dynamic 10-day Boot Camp in October at Expo City, Dubai, fostering creativity and innovation.

The top five shortlisted teams, awarded equity-free grants of AED 25,000 each, progressed to the 6-week Pre-Accelerator at Sheraa Hub. Here, they gained invaluable insights into goal setting, customer discovery, product development, and go-to-market strategies.

The momentum surged onto the global stage at COP28, where the five winning startup ideas pitched to a global audience. Three teams emerged as overall winners, each securing equity-free grants of AED 50,000.

These winning teams now advance to a 16-week Accelerator at Sheraa HQ in Sharjah, guided by Experts-in-Residence, to turn their sustainable solutions into a ready to launch business. Participants competed for a total of AED 275,000 in grants, highlighting the program's commitment to empowering eco-conscious entrepreneurs. (ANI/WAM)