Misk Foundation signs MoU with Hub71 to foster startups

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum, and Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, sign MoU to create a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 14 November 2019

Misk Foundation signs MoU with Hub71 to foster startups

  • MoU outlines ways to create a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

RIYADH: The Misk Foundation on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.

The MoU was signed during the three-day Misk Global Forum in Riyadh, and outlines steps toward creating a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy,” said Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the forum.

At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy.

At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy.

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum

“A vital part of that is supporting innovative entrepreneurship and exciting founder-led ideas. This strategic MoU with Hub71 will allow us to create a more open and dynamic environment for these startups and others in the future, to grow, flourish and succeed.”

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, said the MoU “means that Hub71 startups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market. It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights, investor relationships, strategic partnerships as well as co-working spaces.”

The MoU outlines steps toward building a larger shared ecosystem aimed at helping startups access the UAE and Saudi markets by offering shared in-market business development insights, introductions to investors, and mentor networks and strategic partnerships; business services and mentorship from local and international experts; and access to a close-knit community and ecosystem that support entrepreneurs. 

Meanwhile, Hub71 was named the UAE’s national organizer for the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) 2020, which is an integral part of the Misk Global Forum.

Hub71 startups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market. It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights.

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71

The EWC is a global startup and pitch competition. Winners will have the chance to be shortlisted for the Hub71 Incentive Program.

“We’ll be on the hunt for UAE’s best startups from each of the … seven emirates and proudly showcasing the winning ideas to represent ‘Team UAE’ at the EWC 2020 next November,” Adi said. 

The EWC’s inaugural 2019 edition has attracted entries from over 100,000 entrepreneurs, across various sectors, from 187 countries.

Entrants are competing to win cash prizes, global mentorship and support services, as well as the chance to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the Hub71 Incentive Program, which includes up to 100 percent subsidized living, office space and health care for two years.


Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 4 min 23 sec ago

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Visitors are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them

ALULA: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has made her Saudi Arabian debut with one of her mirrored “infinity rooms” available to visit at AlUla’s Maraya Concert Hall.

The installation at AlUla, titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — Brilliance of the Souls,” is deceptively small at first. A totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on, observers are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them.
Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. The viewer is insulated from the outside world, and the space transforms from a confined room barely big enough for two people to an unending wonder.
The exhibit makes for a perfect place to take an ethereal, otherworldly selfie, as demonstrated by many of its visitors, such as Finnish resident Laura Alho, known online as “blueabaya.” Alho took to Twitter to post photos of her experience, saying she had “never seen anything like it.”
The concert hall itself is also covered in mirrors on the outside, designed with the intention of blending into the surrounding rocky landscape of AlUla without disrupting the natural beauty of the location.
Kusama, a 90-year-old artist from Matsumoto, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important contemporary Japanese creatives. Though she works primarily through sculpture and installation, she also paints, contributes to film and performance art, and dabbles in poetry, fiction, and fashion. She is famous for her conceptual art, which shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism.

HIGHLIGHT

The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is deceptively small at first. It is a totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on.

At the age of 10, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which consisted of dense fields of dots, which inspired the Infinity Mirrored Rooms that she is most well-known for. As a way of therapy and self-expression, Kusama began creating these spaces with mirrored walls and multiple dots incorporated into the designs.
Kusama’s work is showcased at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. There are 10 permanent Infinity Mirrored Rooms in museums worldwide, with several temporary showcases leased to various others. People have reportedly lined up for as long as five hours just to be allowed inside one for 30 seconds.
Interested parties can visit the Infinity Mirrored Room as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, taking place in AlUla until March 20. Access to the room is free to concertgoers with a ticket, details of which can be found at experiencealula.com