Inaugural New Venture Challenge at American University of Sharjah

The following message was sent by Jeffrey H. Singer with the American University of Sharjah: 

Attn: Pioneers, inventors, entrepreneurs and thinkers,

We are looking for innovators who have big, brave and bold ideas, ready to be honed for commercial success. If this sounds like you or your company, we invite you to take part in the inaugural New Venture Challenge at American University of Sharjah (AUS), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

American University of Sharjah is one of the Middle East’s top-ranked universities, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country known for being at the helm of innovation and entrepreneurship and for making big ideas a commercial reality. In this spirit of the UAE, AUS is hosting the inaugural New Venture Challenge, a hard-science, business plan competition set to be the most prestigious in the region.

The New Venture Challenge invites teams with two to five members, located anywhere in the globe to submit their innovative idea, borne of hard-science. At least one team member must be currently enrolled in a graduate program, or have recently graduated from a graduate program. Teams can be made up of members with a background in any discipline, but startups leaning towards hard science are preferred.

The 16 teams with the best submissions will be short-listed and will travel to AUS to participate in a three-day event in February 2019. These teams will work with world-class investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, developing their idea, readying it to take the commercial world by storm. The teams will be addressed by high-profile entrepreneurs, and take part in coaching and networking sessions.

Here are the facts that you need to know:

  • Applications open on September 10, 2018 and close on December 1, 2018. Shortlisted teams will be notified by December 15, 2018.
  • The challenge will run February 3–5 on the AUS campus.
  • AUS will provide short-listed teams with hotel accommodation for a maximum of four team members, local transportation to and from the hotel to the event, along with all meals.
  • Each shortlisted participating team will be assured of receiving a minimum of $4000 in prize money.

To find out more, or to register your team, visit You can also email the NVC Project Coordinator, Karen Leschke at to ask any questions, or receive additional information.

We very much hope that you will submit an application and enter the running to join the world’s best and brightest innovators and investors here in Sharjah next February.

We look forward to receiving your application, and learning about your hard-science business idea.


Jeffrey H. Singer
Director, New Venture Challenge
Executive in Residence
Tel +971 6 515 4151
Fax +971 6 515 4065
American University of Sharjah
PO Box 26666, Sharjah
United Arab Emirates