Rabat – Two Moroccan startups have been selected among the 15 semi-finalists for the 2023 Aviram Awards, a competition that supports young entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). Launched by American business magazine Forbes and the Israel-based Aviram Foundation, the competition’s final will take place in Morocco’s red city Marrakech in May.
Among the semi-finalists is Morocco’s Youssef Bouyakhf, CEO and founder of Deepecho. The startup uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect birth defects in ultrasounds, with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.
Chairman and founder of Agua de Sol Philippe Dekoninck is also representing Morocco in the competition’s semi-finalists. His startup uses adsorption technology to turn moisture into fresh water, using solar heat.
Agua de Sol took to Linkedin to express their pride for making it to the final-15, out of 780 entries, and for having the opportunity to “give back to humanity through technology.”
Thanks to the Aviram Awards, Agua de Sol “could soon be providing fresh water to millions amongst the 2 billion people who currently do not have access to fresh water,” added the statement.
Meanwhile, a total of nine Israeli startups made it to the Aviram Awards’ semi-finals, including CEO and Co-Founder of Avertto Hila Ben Fazi.
The semi-finalists also include Haitham Riahi from the UAE, Aberer Alotibi from Jordan, and Saudi Arabia’s Noor Zaourii and Majed Mashrawi.
Highlighting the commitment of young entrepreneurs to create social change, the Founder and President of the Aviram Foundation Ziv Aviram celebrated the “significant increase in participants this year, with more startups, coming from a long list of MENA countries.”
As part of the semi-final phase, the competition provides the 15 startups with “practical tools” that will benefit them in their “professional and entrepreneurial future,” beyond the context of the Aviram Awards, the Israeli businessman said.
The Aviram Awards have appointed five “talented” mentors with extensive experience in entrepreneurship to share their knowledge and expertise with the participants. The mentors include Yasmina Lahlou, the Head of Israel Coverage at Bank of Africa in Morocco.
“We are looking forward for our 5 finalists to arrive in Morocco, creating new opportunities and bridges for the State of Israel and the entire region,” Aviram added.
In an interview with Morocco World News in January 2023, Aviram highlighted the notable increase in Moroccan entries compared to the previous edition, stressing that “it is the beginning of very a strong relationship between our entrepreneurs, Aviram Awards, and Moroccan startups.”
For his part, Forbes Editor-in-Chief Randall Lane said that the Aviram Awards is “excited to provide these young innovators with insights and mentorship as they create cutting-edge technologies to move the world forward.”
Randall reiterated Forbes’ commitment to supporting entrepreneurs whose startups aim to create real social and environmental change, saying that “the semi-finalists selected are doing exactly that.”
Among the 15 semi-finalists, five startups will make it to the final in Morocco, where they will pitch live on-stage in the presence of world-acclaimed business leaders and high-level guests.
Credit: Morocco World News 02.03.2022 14:38