The American University of the Middle East (AUM) concluded the semi-finals of the “STARTAPP & INNOVATE” competition, launched for high school students in Kuwait. The competition aims to encourage the new generation to innovate and create effective ideas that lead to community development.
The competition consists of two categories: “STARTAPP”; for mobile application business ideas, and “INNOVATE”; for creative ideas in all engineering fields.
Within five days, the university received about 500 ideas and projects from students from various schools in Kuwait. The best ideas and projects were selected to compete in the semi-finals held at the AUM cultural center, Twenty-eight participants qualified for the finals, 11 for the first category and 17 for the second one.
A jury of expert professors in engineering and business administration chose the best projects and ideas. The panel looked at criteria like: creativity where the idea is judged on the level of innovation, problem solving and added value, practicality, and responding to market need.
Dbeissy: STARTAPP & INNOVATE reveals Kuwaiti youth innovation potential
The head of AUM cultural center Rasha Dbeissy talked about the importance of the competition, which was organized for the first time at the university, to encourage and support young Kuwait high school students to submit and develop their business app and innovative ideas. The competition encourages students to seeking excellence in engineering and business management, she added. The competition also aims to invest the creative energies that contribute to creating a distinguished generation of Kuwaitis that can lead towards a better future.
Dbeissy said: “The high number of turnout at the competition is a sign that the young Kuwaiti generation has the potential to innovate and initiate business ideas that have a positive contribution to the Kuwait community”.
Unlocking students’ innovation spirit
On their part, participating high school students found an opportunity to demonstrate their creative abilities and to explore university life.
Student Ahmad Al-Dahi from Jassem Al-Kharafi High School presented a project to help people lost on land or at sea with the aim of reducing the number of victims in such incidents. Al-Dahi said this experience gave him more self-confidence and support to develop and improve his project.
Students Duha Al-Saidan and Hissa Al-Atibi from the the Anisah Binti Khubaib School presented an application that facilitates interaction between companies. Al-Atibi said that innovation is now a basic need to build an effective communication network.
Student Abdullah Al-Hammadi from the Abdullah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah Secondary School introduced his application for reducing traffic accidents in Kuwait. He noted that this experience encourages the Kuwaiti student to be socially responsible.
Eligible participants will have the opportunity to develop their scientific and technical skills through workshops that will be held on AUM campus where they will get to visit and work at AUM laboratories and facilities under the supervision and guidance of the university’s professors.