Infiniti, one of the region’s fastest growing premium automotive brands, announced the launch of a competitive initiative to give Middle East entrepreneurs the opportunity to take part in a world-class start-up acceleration programme and receive a $40,000 investment in their business.
The 11-week initiative – delivered by Infiniti Middle East in partnership with global early-stage investment company, Nest,- is dedicated to driving new business development and elevating budding entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
The innovative campaign stems from the recent launch of the Infiniti Q70 – a vehicle tailored “ForThoseWithDrive” – one that blends design, performance and technology and targets individuals with success in their sights.
“At Infiniti, we reward passion and drive,” said Juergen Schmitz, Managing Director of Infiniti Middle East. “The new Infiniti Q70 is born from entrepreneurial thinking, and it inspires passion in others.
“Across the Middle East, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play an increasingly crucial role in shaping the regional economy. The campaign we are launching today celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and we are very excited to work with like-minded innovators across the Middle East to recognize – and reward – their drive to succeed.”
The competitive initiative, which will run until mid-December 2015, will be rolled out in three phases.
Phase one –the application – kicks off today and will continue for one month until 11 November 2015. Participants can apply by completing the online application form on the Infiniti Middle East website http://www.infiniti-me.com/en/about_infiniti/speed-pitching.html?cmp=speed-pitching
Phase two – the selection – will see 30 participants invited to participate in the region’s first ‘Speed Pitching’ event in Dubai. Held in early December 2015, the event will see entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to regional business champions.
Schmitz added: “There has never been a better time than the present to start a business and we hope that this competitive initiative is the step up that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to get into the driving seat of business.”
Phase three – the finale – will take place in mid-December. It will take three campaign finalists to the “Infiniti Lab” in Hong Kong for a three-day business development program. This phase will be a part of Infiniti’s broader partnership with Nest. The three shortlisted finalists will undergo an intensive mentoring and coaching programme with Infiniti, Nest and international industry leaders. The workshop will culminate with the winner being awarded $40,000 of seed level funding.
Simon Squibb, Founder and Chief Executive, Nest said: “Having access to professional mentorship and practical advice can make all the difference for a young entrepreneur looking to get their business off the ground. We are proud to build on our existing partnership with Infiniti and offer our unique support system to the Middle East’s future industry leaders.”
To be eligible for the competition, participants must be able to present a thorough intelligent and innovative commercial proposition.
The start-up idea can cover any product- or service-related industry, participants must be based in the GCC (Jordan and Lebanon included), and the business and related activities must have a clear focus on the region. Full application criteria can be found on the Infiniti Middle East website.
The initiative which culminates with ‘Speed Pitching’ in Dubai and the ‘Infiniti Lab’ in Hong Kong, runs from 11 October, 2015 to 15 December 2015, with special announcements scheduled along the way.
For more details on the competition, including how to sign up, visit http://www.infiniti-me.com/en/about_infiniti/speed-pitching.html?cmp=speed-pitching