US training offered to male and female Saudi youths in transport engineering

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Saudi Arabian youth will be given training in the US under an agreement between Misk Foundation and US-based Virgin Hyperloop One (File Photo)
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Saudi Arabian youth will be given training in the US under an agreement between Misk Foundation and US-based Virgin Hyperloop One (File Photo)
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Saudi Arabian youth will be given training in the US under an agreement between Misk Foundation and US-based Virgin Hyperloop One (File Photo)
Updated 21 February 2018

US training offered to male and female Saudi youths in transport engineering

RIYADH: A group of Saudi male and female youths will be sent to the United States for training in transport engineering under an agreement between the Misk Foundation and US-based Virgin Hyperloop One.
The agreement was inked during the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh in November last year and signed by Bader Al-Asaker, secretary general of the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Philanthropic Foundation, known as Misk Foundation, and Founder of Virgin Hyperloop One Josh Giegel on the sidelines of the MGF.
The training program is designed to provide students with a unique opportunity to work closely with the world’s leading engineers working on the development of the Hyperloop operating systems, a new and safe means of transportation.
Chief Marketing Officer of Misk Foundation, Mohammed M. Abuazzah, told Arab News on Wednesday that his organization has already called for applicants from male and female Saudi youths who are graduates/undergraduates involved in transport engineering fields of study.
He said the number of people selected for the program will be determined on applications received for the training. However, he assured that there will be a mix of male and female youths in the group, which will be selected for training at the headquarters of the of Virgin Hyperloop One in Los Angeles from June 25 to Aug. 31.
“We do not promise any employment for the successful trainees. However, their expertise could be well harnessed in the Kingdom by the transport and aviation sectors,” he said.
Students will also enjoy the weekly events organized by the management team, which provide a unique opportunity to participate in shaping the future of transport and communications around the world and gain experience and knowledge in the world’s leading engineering companies.
The agreement is intended to seed long-lasting economic, social, and innovation benefits for the Kingdom by developing a highly skilled, knowledge-based, cutting-edge workforce in an innovative area of growth. This is central to Misk’s mission to empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the knowledge economy.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.