Many of the visitors at GITEX Future Stars 2018 have already perused the rows of booths where startups from around the globe are exhibiting their products and pitching to investors. However, the show remains full of surprises, with the collection of often awe-inspiring side attractions and dozens of promising startup founders filled with entrepreneurial spirit.
One side attraction was held in the MUTEK dome, a massive hemisphere standing conspicuously at the main entrance to the show. The half-hour long shows staged inside the dome were live DJ performances paired with mind-bending visual art projected on the interior curves of the dome. Visitors were encouraged to lie down on large cushions and watch visuals like shooting stars and hypnotic snake-like ribbons dance across the ceiling.
MUTEK, which has been experimenting in the audio-visual space since 2002, incentivized visitors from both Future Stars and GITEX Technology Week to further explore the Future Stars venue.
Entertainment aside, the show also paid its respects to the world of social enterprise, where many creative startup solutions to problems of wealth inequality, education and more were given pride of place near the main entrances.
One such startup was Ustad Mobile, an educational content solution for regions of the world with little to no internet connectivity. The app works by sharing content like Khan Academy’s educational videos offline using one smartphone as a server for the other devices.
The product is designed in such that the app itself can be shared over Bluetooth. Chief Operating Officer Benita Rowe says that the startup’s efforts in partnering with universities in Afghanistan have led to such a successful adoption that the Ministry of Education has decided to take it further.
Day three of the show promises a jump in excitement as the show winds down and startups ramp up their efforts to gain investment and users.