Masdar’s ‘smart garden’ at Expo 2020 - GulfToday

Masdar’s ‘smart garden’ at Expo 2020


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

An innovative solution that enables people to grow healthy produce at home, took centre stage at an event held to mark World Food Day at Expo Dubai 2020. The app-controlled HydroArtPod smart garden, developed by a Masdar City-based start-up, was the only technology product to be featured during the event, hosted under Expo’s Programme for People and Planet.

The HydroArtPod has been developed by Masdar City-based byAlinePate, a tech start-up being incubated at the region’s first sustainability-focused startup accelerator, The Catalyst. The automated device requires minimal user effort, while reducing the reliance on chemicals, packaging, and transportation in the supply chain, ensuring a steady supply of fresh produce with minimal food waste. Visitors to the event were able to learn just how easy it can be to grow healthy fruits and vegetables at home.

Start-up founder and CEO Richard Pate also took part in an onstage panel discussion on growing better food and how this can positively impact the environment.

Cinar Kurra, CEO, The Catalyst, said, “We are delighted to support HydroArtPod by AlinePate and look forward to watching their business grow and develop. As the region’s first sustainability-focused start-up accelerator, the role of The Catalyst is to encourage and stimulate entrepreneurship in Masdar City. The Catalyst is a joint venture with BP and via the funding, training and mentorship of innovative startups, we actively accelerate the development of viable technology businesses and catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship while providing fundamental support to early lifecycle startups.” “At The Catalyst we also provide selected applicants with capital that can be converted into equity as their business bears fruit over the long term,” Kurra continued.

HydroArtPod inventor, Aline Pate said, “My inspiration for designing the HydroArtPod was to help every home be able to make a little difference toward their health and minimise our impact on the environment. As a mother myself I also think it’s so important to raise awareness among younger generations about healthy food production and the environment. We are delighted to partner with Expo 2020 in helping show how we can all eat better while taking care of our world.”

HydroArtPod users can also grow edible and decorative flowers easily at home. The HydroArtPod can be mounted on the wall in a home for easy access, while also looking like a piece of art.

Masdar City is home to more than 1,000 businesses, encompassing a variety of organisations - from multinationals and SMEs to homegrown startups - committed to advancing the sustainability agenda and spearheading the innovations to realise greener, more sustainable urban living. By basing their businesses in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, startups such as HydroArtPod, will also benefit from the exceptional network already in place and connect with other innovative R&D initiatives.

Dubai’s makeup school: Our goal is to open at least one Alruba Beauty, International Makeup School in top cities around the world with the aim of spreading happy smiles on the faces of our clients with the help of professional makeup artists, said Kamilla Nurpeiis, entrepreneur and founder of the institute.

The school has recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in Dubai and announced that around 1500 students have already been graduated and working in top places. The school achieved that milestone and did makeup of around 500 cast members at the grand opening of the Expo 2020 in Dubai.

“It was a great achievement for us as a school in Dubai to part of the opening ceremony of the mega event of Expo 2020. We not only enjoyed the great milestone for our school but showed the satisfaction on our services being offering for the last 5 years,” said Nurpeiis.

Talking to the media, she said that “in 2015 before I opened Alruba Beauty in Dubai I got my master degree in Digital Marketing Manager from Columbia University so to understand the whole process and to learn the new era in Digital I had to dive into the study and take experience from the best teachers. After the proper competitor analysis I closely focused on gathering methodology in each sector such as hair course, nail course, eyelash extension, eyebrow, makeup courses.

“In January 2021, we decided to keep and focus only on makeup courses, and I believe it was a very strong decision because now I am focused on creating the best makeup school in the world. Today I’m proud of Alruba students because our students start working straight after the course and they have started their career as a Professional MUA,” she added.  

She further said that our community is growing very fast. We build a trustworthy community called the Alruba family. Together we are working as MUA backstage crew with famous Dubai’s designers on Fashion Week events. “Alruba students work with famous makeup brands such as Mac, Inglot and others top brands. Photographers, film, media platforms are always collaborating with Alruba graduated students. My team and I are proudly happy to say that we create professional artists who create beauty and deliver it in the right way. Recently, Alruba Beauty worked on the grand opening ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai as a backstage makeup and hair team. We supported over 500 casts and prepared them on the stage,” she said.

Prior to start the beauty school in Dubai in 2015, her first business was at the age of 22 and set up a woman security agency with her friend. “It was my first experience as an entrepreneur and I will always be thankful to myself that I had a brave decision to build this company from idea to real profitable start up. When I remember  these days I feel so proud of myself.

“I got experience from those years about how to hire a team, how to approach people to believe in your idea when I say people I mean investors too, how to file the law papers and how to market the brand,” she added.

Business Matchmaking Forum: Colombia is organising its largest Business Matchmaking event in support of Expo 2020’s goal of fostering partnerships, catalyzing innovation, and discovering opportunities for strong business and trade investments.

Serving as an ideal gateway to investment possibilities in a variety of sectors, the Matchmaking Forum, hosted by ProColombia, will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre Expo from November 7 to 11, 2021, as part of the Expo 2020 activities. Around 3,400 business meetings will take place between 200 Colombian business representatives and 125 buyers from 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, with the goal of showcasing Colombia’s products and services and fostering global corporations.

Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia said: “ProColombia is proud to organize the Business Matchmaking Forum right within the Expo 2020 Dubai to take advantage of the unique opportunities the export and import market has to offer between Colombia and regional businesses in the MEASA region as well as Europe. For years, Business Matchmaking has been proven successful in linking companies and stakeholders, at the same time promoting Colombia’s unique and diverse portfolio. We look forward to the positive outcome of this unique matchmaking opportunity which will only expand the connection and collaboration among industry players.”

The five-day event is one of the leading commercial initiatives of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of fostering Colombia’s non-traditional exports, international tourism, and foreign investment. It aims to pave the way for companies and investors to explore business partnerships in agribusiness, manufacturing, industry 4.0, apparel and chemical supply chains. Companies from various sectors will be represented in each of the industries, such as oils and fats, beverages, and meat etc. in agribusiness; construction materials, home furnishings, and design etc. in manufacturing industry; software, IT services etc. in industry 4.0; clothing and footwear etc. in apparel and personal care products, pharmaceuticals etc. in the chemical supply chain industry.

Santoro further added, “Expo Dubai will be a great opportunity to showcase Colombia’s wide range of high-quality goods and services from a variety of sectors. Our goal is to double sales compared to those generated last year through the Macro Matchmaking Forum of the Americas. In order for Colombian businesses to be as successful as possible, we have conducted webinars to prepare them for these business meetings.”

The forum also seeks to center discussions on logistics between Colombia and the UAE, prospective buyers and exporters, as well as packaging and product development. It will also further look into the potentials of the UAE’s e-commerce sector and trends. The Dubai Expo will be a potentiator and accelerator of the Vision 2030 Colombia - United Arab Emirates thanks to more than 60 actions that include promotional activities, business agendas, and events, with the participation of more than 200 public and private entities.

With the participation of trade allies from many sectors and key organizations, Colombia’s national government seeks to achieve the objective of boosting Non-Mining Energy (NME) exports to $32 million by 2022, therefore bolstering the goal of achieving $130 million by 2030.

Growth in NME exports is anticipated to reach $32 million by 2022, with a rapid approach to the target of $130 million by 2030. The creation of a new direct flight or code sharing with airlines in this region to improve connectivity is also projected to boost the number of tourists. Furthermore, Colombia is one of the world’s top coffee producers, and this event is likely to improve the country’s position in the regional market as there is a growing demand for coffee supply in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Expo 2020 is the most ideal platform for Colombia to further raise its foreign direct investments through its portfolio of opportunities in sectors such as infrastructure, technology, agribusiness, energy, and creative ventures, among others.

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