GITEX Supernova Challenge

US$180K prize pool - the 3rd largest  for startups globally split across 9x categories

New Categories

Best Emirati Startup

Best Emirati Startup

US$10,000 - Startup founder(s) must be from the UAE
Best Social Impact

Best Social Impact

US$10,000 -  Startup must show development, and implementation of solutions to social, cultural, and/or environmental issues.
Best AI Startup

Best AI Startup

US$10,000 - Startup founder(s)
Best Creative Economy

Best Creative Economy

US$10,000 - Startup solution must show economic impact for cultural and creative industries (music, film, fashion, food)

Returning Categories

SuperNova Champion

SuperNova Champion

US$100K - Prize for the most innovative global startup solution.
Best Arab Startup

Best Arab Startup

US$10,000 -  Startup founder(s) must be resident of one of the Arab countries. 
Best International Startup

Best International Startup

US$10,000 - Startup founder(s) must be resident of a country outside of the Arab world. 
Best Youth Startup

Best Youth Startup

US$10,000 - Startup founder(s) must be 30 years old or younger.              
Best Female Led Startup

Best Female Led Startup

US$10,000 - Startup must be founded by female entrepreneur(s) 

What's new in 2018

Pitch practice: Pitch practice sessions between finalists & VCs organized by GITEX Future Stars.

More exposure: Guaranteed Media Presence in the Finals  & Livestream on GFS social media channels.

New categories: 4x new categories = 4x more winners! 

Audience vote: 20% your score will be decided by the audience to encourage engagement with your fellow entrepreneurs.

Please note: Only startups that are exhibiting at GITEX Future Stars 2018 are eligible for the Supernova Challenge. You can register your interest to exhibit below. 

Book your pod now

Evaluation Criteria

Level of Innovation: originality of the idea

Potential: longevity, actualization and profitability

Team: who is your team and how will they make your company a success?

Functionality: usability

Goodness: What is the impact of your product on social, cultural, and/or environmental issues. 

Please note: In addition to being an exhibitor, all startups entering the competition must be at most 5 years of age, must use technology in their products or services, and must have received under US$2 million in funding and have scalable business solutions.




Supernova Application Guideline

All entries are required to send a tailored application video. Please see below for criteria and guidelines:

Video Criteria

  • Video must be a maximum of 3 minutes
  • Video must address guideline questions below
  • Video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo
  • Video must be tailor made to the Supernova Challenge. We will not accept corporate videos or any generic pre-made an
  • Video does not need to be animated or require any significant production value – a high quality camera on a mobile phone is sufficient. Ie. It can be a ‘selfie’ styled video with a team member(s) addressing the guiding questions below or a PPT video.

Guideline Questions

  • Give a high-level summary of what your company does?
  • What is the problem you are looking to solve and why should your audience care?
  • What is the size of your market?
  • What is the size of your team ?
  • What do your customers need and why?
  • What is your sales and distribution model?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • How much are you looking to raise?
  • What will you use your money on?


Stay tuned! Applications will open by end of July!

The Champions of 2017

Sadeem Technology took home the $100k first prize winner for Best Global Startup, Melltoo won Best Female Led Startup, Cherpa won Best Youth Startup & Modeo Systems won Best Disruptive Startup. 

All day we had seen our incredible finalists take to the 10x Stage to present their pitches to our judging panel.

Check out the post-win interviews of 2017 Supernova Champs here!


Supernova FAQ

What's the deadline to enter?

No entries will be accepted after the 8th September 2018. 

Am I guaranteed to pitch?

No, only semi-finalists selected by our judges will be able to pitch at the event.

How many people will I be pitching to?

You will be pitching to a panel of between 5-7 investors, CVC's and business buyers. 

How long will I have to pitch for?

You have 3 minutes to pitch. 

How will the winners and finalists be chosen?

The finalists are chosen by the judges of your category and this is the same for the winners. Their decision is final. 

Will I be able to use my pitch deck?

Yes! We will clarify the specifications of applications closer to event in 2018.

Will I get to pitch on the main stage?

Only the finalists pitches will be held on the main stage.

How many team members can be on the stage?

Only 1. So put your best speaker forward.

Can I pitch if I am not exhibiting at GITEX Future Stars?

No, only exhibitors can participate. If you want to book, you can get your pod here.

What happens if i win?

Firstly - congrats. Secondly, you'll be swept up into a photo opportunity with our media. You'll have your picture taken with the judges on stage, mentioned in all marketing and be asked for a quote so we can tell the world how fantastic you feel.

Like the Oscars, there won't be too much time for long acceptance speeches. So keep that in mind. 

The money. What do I leave with?

Whilst a giant cheque is great for the pictures, this isn't overly practical in your actual bank. We'll swap this instead for a cheque you can actually take to the bank. The prize money is awarded in USD and we can not accept any costs incurred for currency fluctuations 

Can I use a video presentation in my pitch?

Yes, you can embed a video into your pitch presentation. However, we recommend you to keep it less than a minute and please bring the video file with you in a separate USB. 
  • Our experience was amazing... being the winners of the event makes it one of the highlights in timeline as a startup surely and in my life truly.
    Startup shoutout - Mustafa Mousa. Best Global Startup, GITEX Supernova Challenge 2017
    Cofounder & CEO at Sadeem

Where next?

Meetings Programme


Innovation Cups

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