Dutch startup, Desolenator wins Supernova Challenge at North Star
Mita Srinivasan
10X Technology

Dutch startup, Desolenator wins Supernova Challenge at North Star

The biggest start-up pitch competition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with $200,000 in cash prizes, Supernova attracted over 600 applications from startups from over 41 countries. Oman Technology Fund awarded a total of up to $1 million in investments while Move the World’ Innovation Cup awarded three winners credit worth $175,000.

Desolenator, a Dutch startup that develops solar powered water purification technology, won the Supernova Challenge at North Star, securing the top prize of $100,000, with 13 category winners each taking home $8,000 in prize money from the competition. 26 finalists pitched in front of a judging panel of global icons and tech influencers, including David Cohen (co-founder of Techstars), Mike Butcher (Editor-at-large at Techcrunch), Karim Konsowa (Associate, Dubai Future District Fund), O.G Arabian Prince (co-founder of N.W.A), Natalie Kolbe (Managing Partner of Norrsken22), and Susan Marie (EVP of Strategy, Arizona Commerce Authority).

The Supernova Challenge is the biggest start-up pitch competition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and, with $200,000 in cash prizes, a major highlight of North Star. This year’s Supernova Challenge attracted over 600 applications from over 41 countries.

The winner of the Top MENA Start-up Award was Galactech from Oman, an entertainment e-sports company.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, said, “North Star Dubai and the Supernova Challenge offer a unique opportunity for international start-ups to take transformational steps in the growth journey. It continues to attract the leading innovators of the future, all of whom choose North Star Dubai as a platform for engaging with global investors and bringing their ideas to the Middle East region. The ideas showcased at North Star Dubai and the Supernova Challenge have the potential to make a significant impact on the digital economy.”

At the Oman Technology Fund Pitch Battle, sponsored by Oman Technology Fund and the ITHCA Group, nine start-ups were selected from a shortlist of 30 finalists to win a total of up to $1 million in investments following their successful pitch to a panel of experts.

Online service provider, Nashid; watercraft company, Seavo and tele-therapy platform, SgharToon received investment cheques for $150,000 each. The companies each receiving investment cheques of $50,000 were travel platform, Godoba; sports and recreation booking company Tamreen; peer-to-peer tutoring platform, Unitors; car spare parts platform, X Garage; 3D printing company, Binaa Express and real estate management company Mulk.

At the ‘Move the World’ Innovation Cup, sponsored by AHOY, three winners were selected by a jury of local, regional and international experts, investors and entrepreneurs to share credit worth $175,000. The Trailblazers’ Award was presented to CLROBUR from South Korea, the Future Innovators Award was won by Visual Camp also from South Korea and the Most Promising Start-up Team Award was presented to Biel Digital Glasses from Spain.

GITEX GLOBAL also announced the expansion of North Star into Expand North Star, diversifying and capitalising on the rising international interest in the UAE start-up ecosystem. Set to take place from 10-12 May 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Expand North Star shall present a new creative format to extend its engagements with venture capitalists, unicorns, scale-ups, start-ups, and key stakeholders in the tech ecosystem.