Mentorship sessions for MITEF Saudi Startup competition conclude in Dammam

The mentorship sessions of the third MITEF Saudi Startup competition are being held in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.
Updated 19 February 2018
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Mentorship sessions for MITEF Saudi Startup competition conclude in Dammam

The mentorship sessions of the third MITEF Saudi Startup competition conclude today in Dammam at the Aramco Center for Entrepreneurship.
In partnership with Olou, the permanent partner for guidance and consulting, the mentorship program focuses on a range of topics pertinent to any individual or company seeking to begin a business.
Each team has been provided with mentors and guides specializing in all aspects of entrepreneurship who cover topics including the art of brainstorming, how to design business models, customer discovery, and marketing and financing. Entrepreneurs also study unique business models and inspiring entrepreneurship stories.
The first session was in Riyadh and hosted by Dulani Business Center, one of the key Social Development Bank programs, supporting and advising the 45 teams who have qualified for the first stage of the competition. Following the Riyadh leg of the orientation, the program moved on to the Abdul Latif Jameel Center for Continuous Learning in Jeddah.
The 45 teams qualifying in three categories — Ideas, Startups, and Social Enterprise — will face the second round of judging later this month when the 27 finalists will be announced. The winners will be announced on March 3 in Riyadh at a function in honor of Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment.


MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

Updated 10 December 2018
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MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Huawei have announced the launch of the Kingdom’s first Internet of Things (IoT) lab and a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs. The announcement was made during the Huawei Day 2018 event held at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh.

The event was attended by Dr. Sulaiman Mirdad, minister adviser for IT industry development; Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Saudi Arabia; and other representatives, including senior government officials, IT leaders and professionals.

The new lab will be located at Huawei’s innovation center in Riyadh and aims to provide entrepreneurs with a platform to innovate IoT applications, which will directly target the most important vertical sectors to the Kingdom.

This joint initiative between MCIT and Huawei is expected to boost the development of products and applications and promote an open and participatory IoT ecosystem. The new IoT lab is the first such innovation and development joint lab in Saudi Arabia. 

Under this cooperation, Huawei has also made available $1 million of funding to developers to accelerate the adoption of IoT in the Kingdom.

IoT development and innovation have transformed traditional industries and daily life. As hundreds of millions of IoT devices will be used for innovative services, the technology has a key role to play in digitalization across industries. Yet currently there is not much IoT adoption in Saudi Arabia, and there is a shortage in local skills and funding necessary to drive the sector forward. The lab is intended to bridge this gap, and ultimately to drive forward the Kingdom’s digital transformation forward and assist the leadership in achieving their vision of building a knowledge economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020.

Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “We are proud to launch the Kingdom’s first IoT lab and fund with our partner Huawei, believing as we do that this initiative will help to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerate the adoption of emerging technology within the Kingdom, and support in developing the skillset and technology necessary to enable our vision and national transformation plan.”

Huawei Saudi Arabia CEO Zhang said: “Saudi Vision 2030 calls for the development of the Kingdom into an innovative and globally competitive economy through digital transformation, and our aim at Huawei is to support the success of this vision. 

We are committed to open innovation and collaboration to promote the IoT sector here in Saudi Arabia and we see the launch of this lab as another milestone in our strategic partnership with MCIT.”