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Hello Business Pitch

Compete and pitch your business plan for a chance to win prizes worth up to AED 180,000!

A Pitch Competition for Startups and SMBs

We are inviting Startups and Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in the UAE to pitch their business plan in front of an expert panel of judges for a chance to win prizes worth up to AED 180,000.

Our objective is to shed light on homegrown SMBs and promote growth and innovation in businesses.


To be eligible for this competition, your business needs to:

  1. Be commercially viable with a proven revenue track
  2. Be tried and tested – an existing company less than 2 years old
  3. Have created an impact within your industry


Esam A.Mahmoud

Senior Vice President heading the SMB segment, with over 18 years of qualitative experience across a range of business functions in etisalat.
He started his journey with etisalat in 1999 as a Graduate Trainee within the Engineering Department. With the inception of SMB division in 2007, Esam moved to the role of Customer Service and Sales Support, further to Director-VIP & Government customers in Northern Emirates and then to Senior Director, SMB Northern Emirates covering SMB & Government sales function, delivery, support and presales.
After becoming the SMB Marketing Vice President, he contributed in the SMB transformation and expansion of etisalat presence in UAE SMB market, growing the SMB segment, reshaping and transforming SMB go-to-market approach and the turnaround of SMB culture.

Binod Shankar

CFA, Co-founder and Trainer at Kaplan Genesis Institute, delivering presentations focused on the SME sector at the Dubai Health Care City and the Tecom SME Builder covering topics such as budgeting, cash flow management and financial control.
He started his career in an industrial bank in India working on project appraisal of small and medium enterprises. He then spent six years executing audit, financial due diligence, financial feasibility and valuation assignments with KPMG, Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young before joining Nakheel, the property developer.
He was recently selected by Potential (the online training initiative supported by Google, Intel, Zawya, Aramex and Michael Porter's AllWide Network) to deliver a series of sessions on finance for micro businesses.

Mustafa Kheriba

Chief Operating Officer of ADFG and Executive Director of the Company's Investment Manager, ADCM Ltd., managing the day-to-day operations, business development and control aspects of ADFG and its subsidiary companies.
He also serves as Executive Director of Integrated Alternative Finance, Spadille Ltd, Northacre Plc, Reem Finance, and Integrated Securities, in addition to being Non-Executive Director at Qannas Investments Limited, as well as a board member and Managing Director of Gulf Finance Company in the UAE and KSA, and the SEO and board member of ADCorp.
Mustafa previously held senior posts in financial services and investment companies in the GCC, USA and Canada and has been named among the top 50 MENA Fund Managers in the 2015 and in 2016 annual survey conducted by MENA FM Magazine.

Craig Moore

Founder and CEO of Beehive, responsible for overseeing the overall strategic direction and managing the day-to-day operations.
Before founding Beehive, Craig was a Founder and COO of Butterfly Software, a data analytics and migration software company acquired by IBM in September 2012. Prior to Butterfly his experience includes various sales, consulting and finance roles at numerous multinational companies such as Dell, EMC, Hitachi and HSBC, with an emphasis on shaping effective go to market and value propositions.
He’s the winner of the People’s Choice Award: Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Arabian Business StartUp Awards 2016.


Important Dates

Submission deadline: 15th April, 2018
Announcement of shortlisted candidates: 26th April, 2018
First Pitch round: 29th April, 2018
Final Pitch round: 2nd May, 2018

Time: 10 am onwards

The winners of the first pitch round will get an opportunity to join a training session to perfect their pitching skills before entering the final pitch round.


Edward Matti

Managing Partner for CCM Consultancy (for TACK and TMI in the USA, Canada and the Middle East), aiding clients in building branded customer experiences, culture shifts and capability building.
He’s an accomplished public speaker and TV commentator in Canada with almost 20 years of leadership experience in HR Development, Sales and Financial Services, delivering keynote speeches focusing on customer experience, employee engagement and leadership essentials.
Prior to moving to Dubai, he lived in Toronto and was Regional Director for Canada’s largest financial planning firm, leading it to become his region number one in Canada for Asset and New Business growth.


The jury will select top 5 winners at the final pitch round and award them rewards in the form of business devices, etisalat services and National Bonds as per the below:

- Winner: Rewards worth AED 100,000
- 1st Runner up: Rewards worth AED 50,000
- 2nd Runner up: Rewards worth AED 10,000
- 3rd Runner up: Rewards worth AED 10,000
- 4th Runner up: Rewards worth AED 10,000


Congratulations to our Hello Business Pitch winners! Thank you for being part of this journey with etisalat and we are proud to announce the 5 winners. Stay tuned for more information on how to collect your prizes, which will be emailed to you soon.

1st place:
2nd place:
Car Switch
Startup with a tech edge:
Startup with a social impact:
Smart Labour
Startup pioneer of the future: