What’s On has news of entrepreneurs in Dubai pitching for business at the first crowdfunding event in Dubai, at Impact Hub, won by Wepul. Get tips of starting a business in Dubai.

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The first crowdfunding event at entrepreneurs’ workspace, Impact Hub Dubai has taken place, in which ten local startup companies were selected to pitch their projects to members of the public, who each voted for one project. The Dhs100 public entry fee went towards a prize pool, awarded to the winning company at the end.

The winning company was Wepul, an online platform allowing members to trade skills. Wepul received the prize pool of Dhs10,300, exceeding the Dhs10,000 target set by Impact Hub. Wepul founders Mark James and Seb Ritter gave a charismatic pitch, and explained the investment would help fund a promotional event.

“The crowdfunding event was a great experience,” said Seb. “We enjoyed the concepts our co-entrepreneurs brought to the table. In the spirit of Wepul, we’re chatting with a few of them to see how we can trade skills to help each other out.”

All pitches had to adhere to a four-minute time limit. Participants could use microphones and props, but no visual aids such as Powerpoint.

Following all ten pitches, ten jars were placed on stage, each representing a competing company. Audience members cast their vote by placing a marble in the most deserving jar. The marbles were counted and the winner announced. Second and third place companies received one free work day each at Impact Hub.

Other companies vying for the prize included Ustad Mobile (using old phones as education tools in the developing world), Dumyé bespoke kids’ dolls, Taka Solutions energy-saving products for homes, Craggie rockclimbers’ app, and social sewing group Remade DXB.

Impact Hub Dubai opened at Souk Al Bahar in January 2014, as a part of a global network of Impact Hubs.

“We have seen a real desire in the entrepreneurial community for what we offer: part campus, part incubator, part global network,” said Impact Hub CEO and Co-Founder, Aman Merchant.

“It’s truly missing from the local and regional scene. Impact Hub Dubai is attracting innovators who are just as passionate and focused as their counterparts in the 45 Impact Hubs around the globe. Whatever you can dream of, whether that’s local or global, this is your home for possibilities, and it’s the only one of its kind in the Arab world.”