“The AICE Accelerator programme is the first of its kind in the region, and is providing select star-ups with mentorship, training, grant fund and the opportunity for pitching and networking with business leaders and investors…” – Karan Deep, Innovation Development Manager at GEMS.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, Dubai was the scene of an impressive display of students’ creativity and innovation at the Arab Innovation Centre for Education (AICE) Demo Day.
Student teams from eight GEMS Education schools pitched their business plans to a selected panel of judges, who examined and questioned each project on the criteria of Innovation, Value, Proposition, Business Model, Scalability and more.
Prior to today’s showcase, each team was paired and consulted regularly with a mentor from various industries and the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. Additionally, last week, they participated in an intensive daylong training boot camp to further prepare them for Demo Day.
“The winning team will be awarded the GEMS Young Innovator of the Year and be given a business fund of 10,000AED, plus business support and mentoring to turn their product/idea into reality. They will be supported through a full incubation programme with our partners in DTEC. The aim of the programme is to support our students in genuinely developing their innovations and turning them into business reality,” states Michael Gernon, CEO and Principal of GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis.
Check out these snapshots of the teams and their innovative projects:
Our Own English High School Al Ain presented on the TOMOHAWK, an actuator device, which can be swapped with a pen for cartridge-less printing, engraver or knife. In demonstrating the use of the actuator, it was evident that the device creates a precise representation of the information to be printed.
Key Point: According to the 8-member team, the actuator can reduce print costs and make life easier as it is equipped with the technology to help with environmental conservation.
The team from The Winchester School – Jebel Ali presented Thermalator. This is an automated thermal regulating system that is designed to sense the temperature of your surroundings and automatically change the temperature of water in your roof tanks according to your preference.
Key Point: According to the student presenters, this system is the key to automated regulating and could be of great benefit to countries such as the UAE and Russia, which have extremely hot or cold temperatures respectively.
GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) had three different teams pitching devices such as ODI, a device designed for the visually impaired that can detect obstacles and alert the user via vibrations and voice notification.
Another project was Hydrophobia, a special solution (repellent) aimed at protecting clothing, spectacles and shoes from becoming saturated with water or other liquids.
The last project from GMA was Magic Mirror, which the presenters claimed would allow users to swiftly access outfits with a mere swipe of the hand. Magic Mirror also provides outfit suggestions based on weather and personal calendars – in a matter of seconds.
Key Point: Each team eloquently pitched their project and adequately responded to suggestions and questions from the judges and members of the audience.
Cambridge International School Dubai presented Learn With Dido, a project conceptualised by siblings to assist Arabic and non-Arabic beginners (3-6 year olds) with learning Arabic.
Key Point: This is a programme made for children by children, loaded with fun interactive activities that promote self-learning. Learn with Dido is already on the market and is the 2nd place winner of the Young Entrepreneur Competition’s Most Innovative Award.
Our Own English High School Fujairah tackled the issue of pollution and the scarcity of energy resources in the UAE. Their business, Futuristic Energy Solutions (EPIC) involves the creation of energy from mechanical energy with the help of transducers.
Key point: According to this team, their innovation is a clean and renewable source of energy that can be beneficial in replacing the use of oil.
Grener Irrigation is a plug-and-play system that integrates with the existing or new irrigation systems to automatically and intelligently water plants. The team from GEMS World Academy pointed out obvious flaws in a few of today’s irrigation systems and human error, which can prevent gardens from flourishing, especially during the hot summer.
Key Point: According to this team, the perfect garden is possible and their system is the answer.
The team from GEMS International School Al Khail pitched their business plan for Stranded, a hybrid automatic/controlled vehicle equipped with essential medical supplies to assist persons who are stranded in hard to get to terrain. The vehicle is equipped with GPS coordinates, which then allows more able teams to offer care.
Key point: According to the team, this is essential for countries where populations are heavily located on coastal areas but has small groups of people living in quieter central areas such as the UAE, Australia and South Africa.
The final team from The Millennium School eased through a thorough and detailed presentation of ALTAIR. This is a meticulously designed carbon fibre drone with full GPS autonomy aimed at tackling the problem of traffic congestion. It can also be used to obtain scientific data from a hazardous area.
Key Point: According to the ALTAIR team, this drone offers over 30 minutes of flight time and is able to capture clear resolution images that most drones are not able to do.
The AICE Accelerator Programme is a crucial platform that supports students’ creativity and innovation through detailed preparation that allows them to have invaluable real-life business experiences during the early years. Some of these innovators were as young as 6 years of age (Merna Jannous – Learn With Dido). Kudos to the teachers, mentors and all the stakeholders, who were instrumental in preparing them for today and ultimately for even greater successes, as they continue to work on transforming the future now. We congratulate each team on being confident, articulate and brilliant, especially during the Q&A section of their presentations. Well done!