The first Aim Start-up Challenge at the Annual Investment Meeting in Dubai has been won by BLITAB, a new tablet developed for the blind.
The Austrian company’s co-founder and chief executive Kristina Tsvetanova accepted a cash prize of US$15,000 at the end of the three-day event. BLITAB “is not the world’s tallest building, but is the world’s first tablet for people with sight loss,” she said.
“With this prize, we can put it to work and scale our user interface and services into the Arabic language. We want to change the world and help millions of blind users,” she said.
A cash prize of $10,000 was given to second-placed Innovein, a US based medical tech start-up that has invented a replacement valve for veins. Austin Walker, its chief executive, said the company was “focused on a medical condition that at this point has no cure” and that the money would help with the technology’s development.
A $5,000 cash prize went to the third-place company Palmos, but a number of finalists will also be guaranteed investment from the event’s venture capital partner, Turn8.
More than 75 firms from around the world were picked to take part in the first Aim Start-up event to take place at the AIM. The top 25 get to pitched their businesses to a panel of venture capitalists.