The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab region is a promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The forum, in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, organizes on a yearly basis an MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition. The Competition which started in 2006 brings in a total of 2,000 to 4,000 applications on a yearly basis. MITEF expressed their interest in carrying-out a survey to measure the impact the Arab Start-Up Competition has created over the past six years. MIT EF indicated that they would like to quantify a set of key performance indicators related to the competition semi-finalists. The indicators developed by InfoPro and MITEF and which were assessed are the following:
- Number of ideas turned into startups as a result of the Competition.
- Number of startups that are still in business to date
- Number of Full-Time vs. Part-Time jobs created
- Number of clients acquired
- Market Size
- Average annual revenue
- Profile of people on the team
- Percentage of females with a leading role
- Number of startups that are no longer in business
- Benefit from the Competition: trainings, business coaching, media exposure, prize money, networking, connections, MIT brand helped them raise (additional) capital, win other competitions, get incubation, get acceleration, media coverage, etc..
To reach the objectives of the study, InfoPro with MITEF decided to interview a pool of semi-finalists and applicants to the MIT EF Arab Startup Competition. InfoPro to kick-start the project compiled a list of all semi-finalists and applicants. InfoPro then conducted Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews with the semi-finalists and filled an online survey with the applicants. The sample was segmented to be representative of the place of residence of semi-finalists and applicants; Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, North Africa, and the Gulf countries. The project allowed MITEF to understand the impact the Arab Startup Competition and to cater its future strategy for the program accordingly.