DiplomaticQuarter: Week-long German tour for best Saudi, Bahraini entrepreneurs

At least 46 start-ups from 16 countries were part of last year’s roadshow through Germany’s innovation hubs. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Week-long German tour for best Saudi, Bahraini entrepreneurs

  • Given the Kingdom’s rising ecosystem, start-ups from Saudi Arabia will participate in the tour for the first time
  • Saudi and Bahraini start-ups can submit their applications via presentation and/or video until Aug. 14

JEDDAH: To foster local talents and in support of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) aims to find the best Saudi and Bahraini high-tech start-ups in the fields of smart cities, mobility/logistics, and insurance technology at the Start.Up! Germany Pitch Night at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain on Sept. 6.
Following the success of the first German-Saudi Startup Competition in March, the winners of the Start.Up! Germany Pitch Night will be awarded fully sponsored participation in this year’s Start.Up! Germany Tour in Dusseldorf, Cologne, and the Ruhr area (Oct. 7-12, 2018), with a special welcoming day for Saudi and Bahraini start-ups in Berlin on Oct. 5.
“Providing a platform for local start-ups to unleash their innovative ideas and potential is one of our duties. In that regard, Start.up! Germany is the perfect meeting point of the old and new economy,” said GESALO Project Manager Fabian Zittlau.
Given the Kingdom’s rising ecosystem, start-ups from Saudi Arabia will participate in the tour for the first time. Last year, 46 start-ups from 16 countries such as Brazil, France, Kenya, Russia, and South Korea took part in last year’s roadshow through Germany’s innovation hubs.
The start-ups can expect a series of meetings and matchmakings with German and international investors, public institutions and companies such as Thyssenkrupp, Vodafone, Henkel, Trivago, WILO, Ergo, Evonik, KPMG and DB Schenker.
In addition to pitch events within the individual categories, various workshops are offered to all start-ups. Berlin and the Ruhr area are Germany’s startup hotspots: More than 44 percent of new businesses in Germany are founded in these regions, and 41 percent of venture capital is flowing to Berlin and the Ruhr area.
Saudi and Bahraini start-ups can submit their applications via presentation and/or video until Aug. 14. In Bahrain, the best candidates will compete against each other in a three-minute presentation in their personal categories in front of a high-level jury of company and association representatives from the three countries.
The most promising ideas and business models will qualify for the Start.Up! Germany Tour 2018. Registration is open to Saudi and Bahraini start-ups founded after Jan. 1, 2015, and which have at least one founder from the respective countries. Applications can be submitted at the following link: www.gesalo-startup.com.


Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

Updated 23 min 41 sec ago
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Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

  • Thousands have signed up for the two-day event including ministers and top policy makers

Thousands of delegates are expected to attend a two-day finance event in Riyadh, which starts on Wednesday under the patronage of King Salman.

The Financial Sector Conference is being held by the Ministry of Finance and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Organizers of the event at the Ritz-Carlton conference hall in Riyadh said informally that some 3,400 attendees had signed up for the two-day showcase of the Kingdom’s financial industry, and that more were registering at an impressive rate.

Delegates include ministers from the finance, economy and strategic ministries, as well as top policymakers from capital markets, investment and insurance industries.

It follows last year’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program events, held at the same venue.

The event will involve the presence of the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), which is seen as a key to providing more affordable housing in the Kingdom and boosting home  ownership by citizens.

SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, aims to issue up to SR4 billion ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk — or Islamic bonds — this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” Fabrice Susini said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyals that we may be issuing in two tranches.”