Expand North Star kicks off with robotics, AI and entrepreneurship

Hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, the event connects the startup ecosystem, founders, VCs and tech leaders

Expand North Star, the world’s largest event for startups and investors has kicked off at Dubai Harbour. 

It will feature the latest innovations in robotics, AI, and entrepreneurship. 

The four-day event brings together 1800 startups from 100 countries and over 1,000 investors with over $1 trillion under management. 

Humanoid robot

One of the event’s highlights was the first live stage demonstration of ARTEMIS, UCLA’s most advanced humanoid robot, developed by their researchers.

The developers’ goal is for the autonomous soccer playing robot team to defeat a human world championship team by 2050.

Dr Dennis Hong, the visionary behind this innovation, explained that the key behind the robot’s excellent balance while walking on uneven terrain and its ability to run was to get both feet off the ground while in motion. 

Empowering youth entrepreneurs 

The event also hosted YouthX Unipreneur, the biggest youth entrepreneurship programme in the region, inspiring students to become the chief architects of the future. 

The programme attracted more than 1,500 students from over 40 schools and universities, who pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of experts. 

More than 600 youth ambassadors and 50 on-stage and off-stage engagements were also part of the programme.

Hassan Sabt, President of Dubai Youth Council, said: “The Dubai Youth Council was founded under the direction of our leadership to empower Emirati youth to take an active role and lead strategic industries.

“The platform also fosters connections while maximising efforts towards achieving national and global goals. There is no better investment in a country than investing in youth.”

Products that make an impact

Another key session was a panel discussion on using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create products that dent the universe. 

It featured product managers who shared their best practices and tips for founders, including: 

  • Ali Rana, VP of Product at Bolt
  • Mayank Yadav, Director of Product at Reddit
  • Sanchit Juneja, Director of Big Data and ML at Booking.com
Debunking the entrepreneur journey

Gary Blowers, CEO of UAE-based LVL Well-being, shared his experience raising funds for his startup on stage.

“Raising capital is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s also essential to understand that everyone’s journey in raising capital is different, and it takes time in this challenging market. But don’t get too caught up with raising capital that you forget to grow the business; keep one eye on the commercials,

 “The entrepreneurial journey can negatively impact mental health, leading to burnout and depression. Prioritize your well-being and create a healthy work culture.” said Blowers.