(MENAFN Press) Abu Dhabi, March 22, 2012: Entrants for the inaugural Innovation Tournament 2021 will have a major financial incentive to put forward their best proposals with the announcement of AED100, 000 in prize money to be distributed among the competition finalists.
The tournament is designed to encourage and nurture innovators and entrepreneurs to devise concepts, of an environmentally friendly or sustainability-focused nature, which can be implemented worldwide. Tournament co-hosts, the Higher Colleges of Technology and the Wharton School's Arabic Knowledge@Wharton, confirmed that the total AED 100,000 prize money will be divided as follows:
First Place “ AED 40,000
Second Place “ AED 30,000
Third Place “ AED 20,000
Fourth Place “ AED 10,000
Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, said the prize money would be a major boost for people to enter innovative ideas for the Tournament. "We are very pleased to announce the prize money, which will be an added incentive to individuals and teams everywhere to devise and design some wonderful, new concepts which will help communities here and around the world," Dr Kamali said.
"We thank our partners, the Arabic Knowledge@Wharton edition and the Wharton School, for such great support in bringing this global competition to fruition and we look forward to seeing many more applications being lodged," he added.
Bulent Gultekin, Professor of Finance, Wharton School and the Academic of the Wharton Center in Abu Dhabi also welcomed the prize money, saying: "Knowledge@Wharton is delighted to see the injection of the prize money into tournament, which will undoubtedly spur many innovators around the world to contribute their unique solutions that can make a difference to society."
In addition to the prize money, entrants will get mentoring from a wide range of highly talented business executives from the region including:
Samer Sarraf, Senior Vice President of Amwal Al Khaleej
Amer Bitar, Managing Director of Spacetoon;
Nadine Orossa, Director of Mashreq Bank
Mohamed El Abbouri, Principal of Boston Consulting Group
Samer Abdin, Co-Founder of istikana.com
Tournament Judges include:
Professors Bulent Gultekin, Keith Weigelt and Karl Ulrich from the Wharton School;
Radheya Al Hashmi, Advisor of Environment & infrastructure in the Office of the Prime Minister
Abdulla Bin Touq, Head of Infrastructure, Environment and Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister
Walid Mansour, Executive Director of Middle East Venture Partners
The tournament, which is free to enter and open to individuals and teams from around the world, promises to generate bold, creative ideas and solutions with measurable results in the areas of business, the environment and entrepreneurial innovation. The applicants will receive close mentorship from leading national and international business experts and the winners will also receive project funding.
From the applicants, a panel of experts will select the semi-finalists from around the globe, who will then be invited to submit a web-based presentation of their innovative concepts. From this group the judges will select finalists, who will be invited to present their ideas before a panel of judges in May 2012 in Dubai.
The Tournament is inspired by, and based on, the acclaimed book Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities, by Wharton Professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich. Its name makes reference to UAE Government's Vision 2021 Plan, which is designed to reinforce the UAE as one of the best countries in the world by 2021. That plan states that 'knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis will confidently build a competitive and resilient economy' which has economic diversification at its core.
The competition will take place in three phases “ covering initial entrants and judging; semi-finals and finals. The semi-finalists will get additional mentoring by Wharton alumni/business owners, faculty and other Wharton and HCT colleagues. The judges will include faculty & members from HCT and Wharton. Knowledge@Wharton will record interviews with the winners, which will be featured on the Knowledge@Wharton, tournament and HCT websites.
Entries for the Innovation Tournament 2021 will be accepted via http://wharton.hct.ac.ae/innovation-tournament-2021/ until April 12, 2012.