2 Saudi entrepreneurs to meet with Facebook, Uber and Google officials

The shortlisted applicants pose with the panel of judges. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 April 2019

2 Saudi entrepreneurs to meet with Facebook, Uber and Google officials

  • Swish launched in October 2017 with a program called “MoHandles Basketball Camps,” aimed at teaching basketball enthusiasts the basics of the game

JEDDAH: Two Saudi startups will get the chance to travel to Silicon Valley in California, where they will meet with officials from several of the world’s biggest tech companies, having won a contest run by Saudi female startup group Blossom.
The Swish Basketball Academy, which started life as a series of basketball training camps, and the Sticky Mobile App, a photography program for phones, were the two successful startups.
The pair succeeded from a shortlist of five, narrowed down from an original list of over 100 applicants. They will now spend time in the US, where they will interact with officials from firms such as Google, Facebook and Uber, and get the chance to sit on Blossom’s panel at its annual event on June 26, previously opened by the new Saudi ambassador to the US, Princess Reema Bint Bandar, in San Francisco.
Blossom, Saudi Arabia’s first female-focused startup accelerator, spent four months screening the applicants.
Its founder and CEO, Emon Shakoor, told Arab News that during the process, the shortlisted applicants had taken part in mentoring sessions, workshops and pitching sessions, and attended lectures on an array of topics from digital marketing to business modeling.
“The five startups accepted into Blossom’s accredited accelerator for this year were: Ghaliah, a plant food alternative for providing non-dairy products; Homegrown Market, a concept store housing over 135 brands; Swish, the leading Saudi basketball academy; Sticky, an iOS mobile application and photo printing service; and the Jeddah Ballet Academy and Motion Boutique, a performing arts school,” Shakoor said.
Swish launched in October 2017 with a program called “MoHandles Basketball Camps,” aimed at teaching basketball enthusiasts the basics of the game. The founding coach of the academy, Mohanned Shobain, a Saudi professional basketball player, has been coaching for 10 years and holds a master’s degree in sports business from Cleveland State University, Ohio.
Shobain said that it was an amazing feeling to have been recognized by Blossom. “Our plan is to expand and be able to reach more communities in order to raise awareness of sports, for men and women of all ages.”
The Sticky App, meanwhile, is an app for taking and then printing photographs digitally. Sticky co-founder Albatool Misky said: “In the future, we plan to introduce new sizes and expand to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.
“Also, we plan to keep innovating and introducing new smart, simple and contemporary photography products. Our goal at Sticky is to help people elevate their space with their beautiful memories.”


Umrah Forum and Exhibition kicks off on Monday

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal. (SPA)
Updated 26 August 2019

Umrah Forum and Exhibition kicks off on Monday

  • The exhibition is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors

JEDDAH: The Umrah Forum and Exhibition, organized by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, will commence on Monday in Jeddah under the sponsorship of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
The event will last for three days at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.
Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat said that the Umrah Forum and Exhibition will hold more than 22 workshops and training seminars carried out by pilgrim services experts. 160 companies and service operators in the sector will showcase their latest innovations and products offered to worshippers.
Mashat added that the Umrah Forum and Exhibition will involve partnership agreements between providers of logistic services and Umrah service companies.
He said that the event aims to meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan by providing the best services to pilgrims.
The exhibition is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors.