Aviram Awards 2023 Supports Emerging Startups in MENA, Morocco

Marrakech will host the competition’s final, with the presence of high-level guests from across the world.

Ziv Aviram and Bill Clinton
Ziv Aviram taking the stand at the final of the Aviram Awards 2022, with the virtual attendance of the 42nd US President Bill Clinton

Rabat – In a bid to support the startup ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as well as promote innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the region, the Aviram Awards is back with a second edition of the competition, with the final taking place in Morocco.

Launched by American business magazine Forbes and the Aviram Foundation, the competition targets young and promising entrepreneurs in the MENA region, who have impactful ideas in several fields, including business, technology, environment, health, and education, among others.

In an interview with Morocco World News, the Founder and President of the Aviram Foundation Ziv Aviram indicated that the competition has “the potential to create benefit for humanity, locally, regionally, and globally.”

The Israeli entrepreneur noted that the “philanthropic competition” aims to create positive change in society, which would in turn “strengthen the peace in the [MENA] region.” Aviram added: “From the moment I was part of an activity that included technology and doing good, I realized that there was no turning back.”

Why Morocco?

When asked why Morocco was chosen to host the competition, Aviram highlighted the North African country’s outstanding business “atmosphere” and potential for new startups. He added that the Moroccan government encourages the creation of small businesses in the country.

“We thought it would be a really good idea to do our second competition in Morocco,” he stressed, inviting startups interested in the competition to submit their entries for the Aviram Awards. Entries for the competition will close on Monday, January 30.

Ziv Aviram handing the Aviram Award to the winner of the 2022 edition Ari Gargir

So far at least 63 Moroccan startups have submitted their applications for the competition, tripling the Moroccan entries compared to last year’s edition, Aviram indicated. 

The notable increase in Moroccan entries proves that choosing Morocco to host the second edition of the competition was “the right decision,” he said. “It is the beginning of very a strong relationship between our entrepreneurs, Aviram Awards, and Moroccan startups.”

Forbes echoed Aviram’s remarks, expressing the magazine’s keen attitude to support innovative startups that want to create real social change.

“At Forbes, our mission is to champion entrepreneurs and leaders who are driving change, transforming business, and making a significant impact on the world,” Seth Cohen, Assistant Managing Editor at Forbes and Head of the Forbes Impact Lab, told Morocco World News.

The Forbes representative gave insight on the partnership with Aviram Foundation and the 2023 Aviram Competition. “We are able to nurture talent and provide resources to the next generation of startups in the MENA region, while providing mentorship to innovative business leaders with established concepts that positively impact humanity,” Cohen added.

Aviram Awards Offers ‘Substantial, Longstanding’ Package

The startups that make it to the competition’s semi-finals will receive mentorship and guidance from experts in the business field, receiving tools to present their projects in a “catchy” way, Aviram explained.

“We noticed in the first edition that many of these startups do not have the capabilities to present their idea in a catchy and understandable way,” he said. The finalist will receive additional tools on how to better manage their startup.

“The pool of applicants will be narrowed down to five finalists, who will be invited to pitch live on-stage to a judging panel of world-acclaimed business leaders in Morocco in May 2023,” detailed the organizers.

The final event of the competition will take place in Morocco’s Red City, Marrakech, and will see the presence of hundreds of high-level guests, including government officials, ambassadors, business experts, and CEOs.

The winner of the Aviram Awards will receive $500,000 (MAD 5.1 million), while second and third-place holders will receive a prize of $100,000 (MAD 1.02 million) and $50,000 (MAD 511,787) respectively. 

The three finalists will have the opportunity to benefit from Aviram’s first-hand experience and mentorship. The Israeli businessman noted that he runs two “extremely successful” companies in Isreal – Mobileye and OrCam – and has gained significant experience over his 23 years as a CEO.

Ziv Aviram
Ziv Aviram, Founder and President of the Aviram Foundation

In addition, Forbes magazine will provide the winners with the opportunity to network and meet investors from across the world. The first-place candidate will receive a showcase profile story in Forbes.

Aviram promised that the participants of the competition will receive a “substantial” and “longstanding” package that would benefit them in the long run.

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Sara Zouiten Jan. 26, 2023 12:27 p.m.