International tech mega-show Gitex kicks-off in Dubai today October 14th, gathering a pack of digital geniuses whose thrilling tech is ready to break the internet – led by the very man who invented it! Sir Tim Berners-Lee – founder of the World Wide Web – is standing-up against the web giants he feels have twisted his world-changing platform. The heralded computer scientist – ranked first in The Telegraph’s list of 100 greatest living geniuses, and named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century – has his sights set firmly on the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon as he heads to Gitex to reveal startup venture Inrupt, which wants to return full control of personal data back to web users.
Sir Tim, a Professor of Computer Science at MIT and University of Oxford, will unveil the project to a global audience packed with venture funds, LPs, institutional and private investors in what promises to be one of the most thrilling exclusives of Gitex 2018. He joins an electric bill of headline speakers and exhibitors – including each of the above, plus Microsoft, Alibaba, Huawei, ASOS, Reddit and more than 200 international government bodies – in converging on the UAE for one of the world’s biggest and best tech summits.
Today’s technologies were simply unfathomable when Sir Tim launched the modern internet 28 years ago. Nearly three decades on, and Gitex 2018 is inviting visitors to explore the next generation of unimaginable, under the tagline Experience Urban Futurism.
An 80% increase on participating startups across 4,500+ exhibitors, make this year’s 38th annual Gitex Technology Week October 14-18th, and third Gitex Future Stars 14-17th, the most future-forward Gitex of all time. With a dedication to serve a MENA startup ecosystem that saw $650 million capital invested last year alone, this week’s show will see Gitex Future Stars reaffirm its position as the region’s leading startup-investor event.
Gitex Future Stars will host more than 700 intrepid innovators and risk-taking entrepreneurs across 19 different sectors, all of whom will be given unrivalled opportunities to network with 1,500 investors, accelerators and incubators from the likes of Google Ventures, the Amazon Venture Fund, IFC-World Bank Group, IDG Ventures, Draper Associates and the European Business Angel Network.
Techs will range from iB Cricket, the world’s first true sport virtual reality game, endorsed by Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind – to Satsure, a satellite-led farming aid that will multiply crop output and a startup that has already secured a MOU from Bill Gates. Throw in the likes of sit-in pods that provide a full health check-up in seven minutes BodyO, to the world’s smallest and most lightweight robotic lunar rovers and lunar landers ispace, and you barely even scrape the surface of the scope and life-changing nature of the creative tech ready to be explored at Gitex.
Established global firms like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HPE, SAP, Alibaba Cloud and Huawei will also once again use the summit to unveil their latest cutting-edge tech; concepts that range from car windows that double-up as entertainment packed touchscreen video platforms, to X-ray scanning mirrors. More than 100 companies will showcase real-world AI adoption, making Gitex the region’s biggest AI gathering to date, and mobile giants Etisalat, du and the Saudi Telecom Company will all live trial the 5G network that promises to provide on-the-go internet at 100x the speed of 4G.
A power panel of leaders are joining Sir Tim in speaking across eight different industry verticals at Gitex, including Neal Cross, the driving force behind DBS Bank’s innovation agenda, and the man recently named the most disruptive CIO in the world. Cassie Kozyrkov, Google’s Chief Decision Scientist; Igor Perisic, LinkedIn’s Chief Data Officer; Dr. Wanli Min, Alibaba Group’s Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist; digital mega-entrepreneur Gilles Babinet; and Joe Federer, Brand Strategy, Reddit, all feature, as does former ASOS.com chairman Brian McBride, who will divulge how whole industries can be turned on their head by being adoptive and brave with new tech.
Speaking ahead of Gitex, he said: “All of us need to keep learning. When you come to an event like Gitex you have got many phenomenal companies and you are hearing from a whole range of great firms and speakers, finding out what is happening in different parts of the world and what is working for the nuances of different customers in different markets. If you are a global company or a company with global aspirations, you have got to come to Gitex to find out exactly what is going on.”
The Gitex Supernova Challenge returns bigger and bolder for 2018. The competition – which runs across eight categories, including best AI, Emirati, female-led and youth startup – received more than 200 entries from 40 different countries. First round pitches from the 75-strong shortlist take place Sunday and Monday, before the finalists compete and winners are announced on Wednesday. This year’s prize pool totals $180,000.
Government and industry leaders from Accenture, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre MBRSC, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing DTCM and King’s College Hospital, London, will also be probing startups for new ideas to meet their own unique challenges across four Innovation Cups.