MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Saudi Arabia, part of the MIT Enterprise Forum global network and partner of Bab Rizq Jameel, one of Community Jameel’s initiatives, announced a new collaboration with King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), whereby KAEC will be the strategic partner for the fourth edition of the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition.
Compared to previous editions, this year’s competition has witnessed remarkable progress in terms of the quality of entries. The total number of applicants since the launch of the competition in 2015 reached more than 6,000 participants, and 24 winning teams. This year’s edition attracted more than 1,500 participants. More than 320 local and Arab business experts and academics have participated in the judging process and the StartSmart conference in which winners are announced.
Ahmed bin Ibrahim Linjawi, CEO of KAEC, said: “This partnership reflects KAEC’s continuing efforts to promote the road map aimed at creating an attractive and stimulating environment that enables small and medium enterprises to raise their contribution to local production from 20 to 35 percent by 2030. Within this strategic partnership, we will work with the MIT Forum to strengthen the role of this vital sector in achieving the development goals as envisaged by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which emphasized the great role of entrepreneurs as the future economic power.”
Hussein Mohammed Jameel, managing director, Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “MITEF Saudi Arabia is proud of this constructive strategic partnership with KAEC, as part of the two sides’ efforts to provide a stimulating environment for business by supporting innovative initiatives and encouraging entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.”
He added: “In collaboration with Bab Rizq Jameel, the annual MITEF Saudi Startup Competition is the first-of-its-kind in Saudi Arabia. MITEF offers an invaluable opportunity to cultivate innovative projects into scalable initiatives, with teams comprising some of the most talented participants in the region. Supporting entrepreneurs is one of the tenets of Community Jameel’s vision and part of our country’s continuous efforts to motivate young entrepreneurs and their ideas to help build their career paths and achieve excellence. Youth is the key element in enhancing the Saudi startup environment and promoting the Kingdom’s economic standing worldwide.”
A judging panel of 46 business experts and academics from all over the world assessed more than 560 entries represented by 1,680 entrepreneurs in the light of the competition’s criteria, namely creativity, potential to expand beyond local markets, and making a positive impact on society.
The winners will be named at the StartSmart Conference on March 7 and will receive cash awards worth SR325,000 ($86,640).