HCT’s Student Entrepreneurs Showcase Innovations to UAE Government Ministers
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Balhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, and His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, got first-hand insights into HCT’s entrepreneurial culture when they met with a group of young HCT entrepreneurs.
Their Excellencies, the Ministers, visited the HCT-Dubai Men’s campus where they inspected a range of innovations, which have been transformed into startups through the HCT InnCuVation Spaces.
Their Excellencies were also introduced to the mechanisms of the InnCuVation Spaces, including the processes of idea selection and adoption, as well as the ways the Spaces are engaged to empower National human capital with professional and applied research skills to become successful entrepreneurs.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President & CEO, attended the meeting with a number of prominent Emirati entrepreneurs, including Ahmad Bin Byat, Former Chairman of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (DU), Faisal Balhoul, Founder and Managing Partner of Ithmar Capital Partners, Yousef Al Mulla, Co-founder of E11 Capital company. Also in attendance were Mr. Nicola Bettio, HCT Executive Dean of Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and representatives from HCT’s academic and administrative leadership teams.
The student entrepreneurs presented their ideas and success stories to the delegation and discussed the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises, such as funding, expediting obtaining commercial licenses, banking transactions, and the importance of community support.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Balhoul Al Falasi highlighted the importance of empowering Emirati entrepreneurs and providing the necessary tools to create a new generation of young entrepreneurs, who are able to support the national economy and increase economic diversification and growth. This, in turn, would facilitate the transformation into a knowledge economy based on creativity and innovation.
The Minister added that the UAE Government gives priority to supporting entrepreneurs in line with the UAE’s strategic visions and plans, with the aim of expediting economic growth and promoting UAE’s global competitiveness.
He praised HCT’s efforts towards supporting Emirati youth to explore ideas and transform them into startups, as well as facilitating a motivating environment to become successful entrepreneurs, who contribute effectively to the local economic development. He said HCT’s achievements require an integrated business system, in cooperation with governmental and public sectors, to adopt and support prospective projects and ensure their success in the labor market.
During the meeting His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama said that, over more than three decades, HCT has produced generations of talented and skilled graduates who have occupied prominent administrative and leadership positions in the UAE, and who have played effective roles in the development of projects and national initiatives in various government entities and private companies.
His Excellency praised the HCT’s efforts made towards supporting future ideas and youth projects, based on the implementation of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, and also encouraging youth to embrace a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation to contribute to national economic development.
He expressed his pleasure with the quality of student ideas and projects, based on investment in 4th Industrial Revolution technologies, which provide solutions for future sectors while meeting the community’s needs.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi stressed the importance of the visit by their Excellencies, the Ministers, and the businessmen, which acted as a motivation for the students who will become future entrepreneurs.
He said HCT has turned the entrepreneurial vision into reality within 18 months since it was announced as the nation’s first approved university economic free zone in March 2019. That was based on the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in line with the sixth article of the 50 Year Charter.
Dr. Al Shamsi expressed his great pride in the HCT InnCuVation Spaces’ success in incubating 67 student startups to date, many of which utilize state-of-the-art technology, to provide innovative products and services that cater to the needs of various sectors. Of the student startups, 33 projects have been founded by female students. In addition, 19 fully-staffed companies, set up through the InnCuVation Spaces, have acquired commercial licenses and are active in the marketplace.
He pointed out that three fully-fledged InnCuVation Spaces are operational in the HCT’s Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah campuses, specializing in exploring and evaluating student ideas, as well as guiding students in how to benefit from the InnCuVation Spaces’ resources, so as to enter the world of entrepreneurship.