'SHARED' the 11th Team to Qualify for this Year's MIT Semi-Finalist Round
Lebanese “SHARED” has been selected as one of the semi-finalist teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region Start-Up Competition for the Start-up Track
Mohamed Watfa a computer science professor and his team are on a mission to revolutionize the classrooms of today through the use of a patented technology that shares a single laptop between as many students as possible. Mohamed Watfa the mind behind “SHARED” spoke to us about the inspiration behind his project and what encouraged him to apply to the competition.
“The SHARED project started as an attempt towards one of United Nation’s Millennium goals, Universal education. According to UNESCO, in the world today there are about 1 billion non-literate adults and a necessary solution is needed. “says Mohamed.
Computers provide a key ingredient that was lacking in all the previous tools that raised high expectations when introduced in the educational system in underdeveloped countries. However the cost for providing computers to poor countries was a major burden. The team was determined to find a solution that can address the costs associated with computer resources particularly for those countries where costs are an issue in education, he continued.
One PC for all
“A traditional computer lab consists of many PCs each running their own operating system and applications which require hardware, software and maintenance at every individual desktop. Capitalizing on the under-utilized CPU capacity of standard PCs today, the project makes use of a multi-process application that can subdivide the computing power of an individual PC by running multiple applications at the same time.”
“In brief, in a classroom setting of twenty students, the proposed product can change every student's wooden desk into a virtual touch screen functional computer using only one computer and a projector. SHARED is the first of its kind and would basically solve a number of critical problems including providing quality universal education, minimizing the environmental impact of using computers and papers in classrooms.” Said Mohamed Watfa.
On Applying to the MIT Arab Start-Up Competition
SHARED has been fully designed and developed and is ready to enter the Market. We feel SHARED is the future of interactive computing and will solve a number of critical problems while opening the doors to a number of business opportunities. We believe in our product and with proper support from MIT enterprise Competition and proper exposure, we are certain it will be a great success.
"We advise future entrepreneurs to believe in their ideas. They need to be ready to take crazy risks, and start a business on a leap of faith. Dedication and perspiration are keys to a successful business." said Mohamed.
Semi-finalist ideas or startups in ICT, digital media, and mobile will automatically qualify for the Oasis 500 training and acceleration program http://www.oasis500.com/ , which is a six-day training program that covers all business aspects, including business modeling, financials, pitching, facilitation and marketing.