TURN8 Orientation for Round 4 Teams

TURN8 round 4 has started! As always, we scouted for startups all around the globe and we brought the best startup ideas and teams to Dubai to our acceleration program TURN8.

The TURN8 acceleration program is unfamiliar to the new teams, and they may not know what is expected from them at each stage. So to help them understand we always have an orientation meeting at the start of each new round.

What happens at the orientation?

TURN8 teams introduce themselves and give a small pitch about their startup. For round 4, we have ten startups from seven countries!

Vukašin Vukoje and Dušan Zdravković from team Keex.

Vukašin Vukoje and Dušan Zdravković from team Keex.


Francis Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey from team Swappaholics.

Francis Obirikorang and Michael Ocansey from team Swappaholics.


Giorgi Laliashvili and Zviad Sichinava from team NextMart.

Giorgi Laliashvili and Zviad Sichinava from team NextMart.


Konstantin Velickovic and Zorana Lazarevic from team Good Game Network.

Konstantin Velickovic and Zorana Lazarevic from team Good Game Network.

Next, Mohamed Hamdy, TURN8 managing director, provides an introduction about TURN8 and gives them a quick walk through the entire program including phases and gate reviews they have to pass (Design, Prototype, Launch, Deliverables). Teams that succeed in passing all these milestones are invited to pitch to investors on Demo Day to secure further investment and continue to build their dream startup.

Mohamed Hamdy, TURN8 Managing Director

Mohamed Hamdy, TURN8 Managing Director

In addition, Hamdy briefly explains to the teams how the mentorship program works, which is laid out to match our startups with knowledgeable and dedicated mentors to coach them throughout the entire program. He also tells the teams about the series of training we provide. Each workshop is prepared for the teams to cover the areas and topics most important to startups including business model design, corporate structure, digital marketing and many others.

We also make sure that our teams participate in relevant events that could be of benefit to them, such as  pitching competitions, exhibitions and any other events that are important for startups.

TURN8 management and employees are all about helping our accelerated startups achieve unconventional success and amaze the world with their ideas and creations. We invite you to follow their progress on this blog, as well as our social media pages: FacebookTwitter and Google+

If you are interested in applying for TURN8,

Apply Now


Program encourages entrepreneurs to submit their idea online

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 24, 2014: Dubai-based TURN8 seed accelerator has commenced the Scouting Phase of its fourth round, searching for early stage technology business ideas at a number of events around the world and via an online portal. 

Founded in 2013 by DP World, TURN8 continues its mission to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation in the region by offering mentorship, training and seed funding to exceptional business start-ups, which it fosters from idea to market as part of a four-month accelerator program in Dubai. 

The TURN8 program seeks innovative businesses or technology ideas in a variety of areas, including Web or mobile applications, e-commerce portals, Arabic content advancements, education and e-learning enhancements, sustainable living technologies, crowdsourced services, social networking innovations and healthcare technologies. 

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the program via the online portalIn addition, idea pitching events will be held in select cities including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as Beirut, Lebanon; Barcelona, Spain; and Nis, Serbia. Winning startups will be invited to Round 4 of TURN8, beginning 1 February, 2015.

Mohamed Elwazer, CEO and Founder of KinTrans and a TURN8 graduate said: “Building your start-up is a very tough process. Entrepreneurs need people around them to offer advice and support, people who you feel really believe in you. I found that with TURN8, and that is what has made KinTrans so successful up to now.” 

For information about Round 4 events, go to http://www.turn8.co/events.

To apply online, visit http://www.turn8.co/apply

About TURN8

TURN8 is a seed accelerator program organized by DP World and powered by Innovation 360. The program is designed to encourage innovative entrepreneurship worldwide, starting with Dubai. TURN8 seeks ingenious ideas that can be refined and brought to market through a 120-day seed accelerator. Visit http://turn8.co.

TURN8 Conducts Private Demo Day in KSA

As part of the TURN8 mission to encourage regional entrepreneurship, we routinely explore potential locations in the Middle East where the start-ups can get maximum benefit. We recently selected six TURN8 start-ups that best suit the Saudi Arabian market and conducted a Private Investor Demo Day for Saudi angel investors during the ArabNet Riyadh 2014 show.


The Saudi Demo Day was highly successful, with several teams receiving potential investment opportunity and four term sheets from investors, which is the first step toward an investment in the start-up.

With nearly 30 angel investors attending this private event, and the interest level shown by the investors in the technology-based start-ups that are ready for investment, such private events would help shift investments from real estate businesses to investing in start-ups.


TURN8 would like to make this an annual affair by bringing in more start-ups to Riyadh and attracting additional investors. TURN8 also looks at being there at the investor location as a shift from the norm where accelerators invite investors for demo day to their base location. A private demo day model is something that the TURN8 team is working on to help facilitate the startup-investor relationship.

Interested in a private demo day at your location? Contact TURN8 to discuss the possibility.

Additionally, TURN8 will hold an Investor Demo Day in Dubai for graduates of Round 3 (Fall 2014). For details and to reserve a place, visit http://www.turn8.co/demo-day/.


Cairo Innov-a-thon Event Boasts Great Turnout, Amazing Ideas

On May 16, the TURN8 team traveled to Cairo, Egypt for another Innov-a-thon Startup Idea Pitching event. The selection panel and young, friendly crowd of nearly 50 people listened attentively as 14 ideas were presented by those hoping to earn a spot in the TURN8 seed accelerator in Dubai.

Innov-a-thon Cairo Cairo Innov-a-thon Innov-a-thon in Cairo

After the initial idea pitches, attendees worked to refine their ideas and business model, with the help of a few regional mentors and coaches in attendance. After the final pitches at the end of the day, five teams were pre-qualified for the TURN8 seed accelerator, and will be further interviewed by the selection panel.

Some of the outstanding ideas from the event included:

  • A device that translates sign language into audible words
  • An environmentally friendly, longer-lasting light bulb
  • A new way to abbreviate physical addresses for easy sharing
  • A consumer service to verify that a product is genuine
  • A social sentiment analysis tool to improve customer insightsAlMaqarr in Cairo

The Cairo event was held at the AlMaqarr coworking space, with the generous assistance of the AlMaqarr team!

The next TURN8 Innov-a-thon will be held on June 14 in Ankara, Turkey as part of Android Developer Days. The team will also visit Minsk, Belarus and San Francisco, CA (USA) this month.

Video from Cairo Innov-a-thon

Find more photos from the event on the TURN8 Facebook page!

TURN8 Participates in Global App Summit

The TURN8 team is pleased to be at the Global App Summit in Dubai, June 4-5. We’ll be looking for entrepreneurs, startup teams and creative geniuses who want to take their ideas to market, so stop by and see us in booth #8!

TURN8 at Global App Summit

On June 5, at 1 p.m., TURN8 is hosting a short idea pitching session in the App Lounge. You can sign up at our booth.

Also on June 5, Kamal Hassan, TURN8 director and founder/president of Innovation 360, will be speaking about “Mobile Innovations for SME Sector.” His talk begins at 11:30 a.m. in the summit conference room.

We hope to see you there!

Inspiration from TURN8 Innov-a-thon Events

TURN8 has hosted two successful idea pitching events so far, in the UAE and Egypt, with events in Turkey, Belarus and the United States coming up! At these events, called “Innov-a-thons,” people hoping for a spot in the TURN8 seed accelerator pitch their best ideas for a startup business or innovative technology. The best way to understand how it works is to watch this inspiring video from the Dubai event…

Ready to pitch your idea? Join us at an upcoming Innov-a-thon event. Or, pitch your idea online…sure, it’s not as fun, but you still have a chance to be selected for the TURN8 seed accelerator in Dubai — a fun, inspirational, life-changing event!

Need more inspiration? Check out our other videos!

TURN8: DP World Initiative – Yousif Al Mutawa, DP World CIO and TURN8 Director, explains the idea behind TURN8.

Bringing TURN8 to the World – Kamal Hassan, Innovation 360 founder/president and TURN8 Director, explains the idea pitching events and the quality of ideas being presented.

Interview: Dr. Bruce Ferguson – Dr. Bruce Ferguson, Masdar Professor and TURN8 Advisor, discusses the importance of finding innovative ideas and providing support to early stage entrepreneurs.

TURN8 Turns On the Innovative Startup Scene in Dubai

The first TURN8 Innov-a-thon idea pitching event was held on Saturday, May 11 at DP World’s own trendy Head Office Cafe in Dubai. Seventeen teams pitched their entrepreneurial ideas to an esteemed jury panel during the all-day event which sought to discover innovative technology and startup ideas for the TURN8 seed accelerator.

Pitching - TURN8 Innov-a-thon
See more photos from the Dubai Innov-a-thon on our Facebook page!

Prior to hearing the idea pitches, the crowd heard from Prof. Bruce Ferguson, Professor of Practice , Engineering Systems & Management at Masdar, and Kamal Hassan, founder of Innovation 360, the organizer of TURN8 events and whose i360accelerator is the model for the TURN8 seed accelerator. Both are on the TURN8 selection committee.

To kick off the pitching, all entrants – including a vivacious 15-year-old entrepreneur pitching an idea for a “Teeny Weeny” social platform – gave a one-minute elevator pitch. Following this, the participants worked in teams and received mentoring to help them prepare for a final five-minute pitch.

Mentoring - TURN8  Innov-a-thon

The jury deliberated for some time before announcing the top five ideas of the day, including a content-based indoor navigation application, a P2P rental marketplace, an integrated supply chain management solution for SMEs, an education to vocational portal, and a dining experience application. These teams are now pre-qualified for the TURN8 seed accelerator. Final selection for the accelerator will be made at the end of the scouting phase, which includes several more Innov-a-thons and ideas submitted online.

The panel named an additional five teams and invited them to return and re-pitch their ideas at the next local Innov-a-thon. The i360accelerator team gratuitously extended some professional guidance and mentorship to the runner-ups.

Jury Panel - TURN8 Innov-a-thon
The jury panel included Mr. Hassan and Prof. Ferguson, as well as Alexander Williams, Director of Strategy for Dubai SME, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders; Afzal Khalfay, Vice President of IT, DP World Head Office; Yousif Al Mutawa, CIO DP World Head Office; and Ranjith Powell, Manager of Research and Development, DP World Head Office.

Young Entrepreneur - TURN8 Innov-a-thon

The next Innov-a-thon is scheduled for May 16 in Cairo (register here), with events in Asia, CIS, Europe and the U.S.A. planned to follow (see the full list of Innov-a-thon events here).

In addition, anyone with an idea for TURN8 can pitch online here. Anyone can go to the same link to vote for the best ideas submitted online.

DP World Launches TURN8 Seed Accelerator

DP World today announced the launch of TURN8 seed accelerator program designed to encourage innovative entrepreneurship worldwide, starting with Dubai.

TURN8 will look for people with ingenious ideas that can be refined and brought to market through a “seed accelerator,” a program that selects start-up teams with marketable ideas and supports them with funding, mentoring and training in exchange for a stake in any resulting business.

The TURN8 program will take place over the next 12 months, beginning by seeking innovative ideas through an online campaign, and events in select countries with active start-up cultures, including the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Ukraine, and USA.

The program is powered by Innovation 360, a leading UAE innovation management consultancy, which has already established its own seed accelerator (i360accelerator), bringing several innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives to the region.

Proposed ideas can be in a variety of sectors including travel, trade, supply chain management, shipping, transport and logistics, logistics security, safety, sustainability and the environment.

Those with winning proposals will be invited to the TURN8 seed accelerator in Dubai, where they will be provided with workspace and professional mentoring for four months to develop their business model and prototype. Up to USD 24,000 funding per team is available to help them evolve their ideas from conception to commercialisation.

Yousif Al Mutawa, Chief Information Officer, DP World, said:
“We are encouraging innovative and commercially-viable ideas from global and local innovators, as well as DP World employees and partners. Our aim is to support an innovation culture in the wider community by encouraging and supporting a mix of international and local ideas.”

Kamal Hassan, Founder and CEO of Innovation 360, said:
“TURN8 will reduce the gap between innovative ideas and their commercialisation by providing the start-ups with crucial early stage funding, a proven framework for turning ideas into global businesses, mentorship and follow-on investment support. Our goal is to launch many successful innovative start-ups and create a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East.”