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
0

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.”


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
0

Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.