Second edition of Misk500 Accelerator concludes

As part of the program, the participating companies underwent extensive training by 500 Startups’ global team of experts, covering multiple topics, and also received one-on-one mentoring with notable tech founders.
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Updated 15 December 2019

Second edition of Misk500 Accelerator concludes

500 Startups and Misk Innovation recently hosted an invite-only Demo Day event at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Conference Center to mark the conclusion of the second edition of the Misk500 Accelerator program. A total of 18 companies had the opportunity to pitch their business concepts to more than 300 investors, government representatives, delegates and members of the media.

The Batch 2 companies came from across the MENA region including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. They represented a variety of sectors including recruitment, retail and e-commerce, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, food, fashion, professional services, construction, payments, education and beauty.

Osama Alraee, executive manager at Misk Innovation, said: “At Misk, we’re on a mission to empower young people across the world to activate their entrepreneurial ambitions and achieve real impact. The quality of the startups taking part is testament to the depth of talent and ambition in the MENA region, and the success of this Demo Day is a testament to our partnership with 500 Startups, part of our commitment to working with sector-leaders to empower young people.”

“We are delighted to host the Demo Day for Batch 2 in partnership with Misk Innovation. Our partnership has fostered a collaborative environment that will continue to spur innovations and investments that contribute to the robust and highly innovative MENA ecosystem,” said Sharif El-Badawi, managing partner at 500 Startups MENA. “Misk500 Accelerator is a key element of our strategy to back the region’s most talented founders, help them create successful companies at scale. We are impressed with the quality of the tech startups present in this batch that are helping to solve real-world challenges.”

As part of the program, the participating companies underwent extensive training by 500 Startups’ global team of experts, covering multiple topics including: Fundraising strategy, growth strategy, marketing strategy and ways to target and attract customers. They also received one-on-one mentoring with notable tech founders, pitch coaching, investment readiness training, investor introductions, and access to investment from 500 Falcons, which is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of diverse pre-seed and seed tech startups in the MENA region. 

The Batch 2 Demo Day built on the success of the Batch 1 Demo Day held in May. Also held at the KAFD Conference Center, 19 tech startup companies pitched to more than 300 investors, invited guests and representatives of both local and international media.

Applications are open for the Batch 3 of the Misk500 Accelerator until Dec. 14. Pre-seed and seed tech startups based in the MENA region are eligible to submit applications at: https://www.misk.500.co


AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

Updated 20 January 2020

AbbVie spotlights pharma sector at KAU workshop

In partnership with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) hosted an educational workshop to encourage more of its students to enter pharmaceutical careers after graduation. The workshop offered unique insights into the scientific role of a pharmacist to more than 100 male and female students from the university. 

Dr. Hani Asfour, dean of the College of Pharmacy at KAU, said: “It was a rewarding experience to see our students participate in this workshop for the first time. With the support of AbbVie, our students were able to learn more about the promising careers which await them in the pharmaceutical sector. They are now extremely eager and excited about their future prospects. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.” 

Ashraf Daoud, general manager of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “At AbbVie, we are proud to continue investing in the Saudi national pharmacists of tomorrow. Through our many partnerships with local universities, such as KAU, we are highly dedicated to supporting the Kingdom’s goals, as expressed in Vision 2030, and helping our aspiring Saudi pharmacists in reaching their full potential.” 

The workshop covered topics such as an overview of the pharmaceutical industry landscape, the importance of the medical representative role, key marketing concepts in pharma, as well as tips and advice on how to write a CV and prepare for interviews. Students also had the opportunity to speak to the AbbVie in-field team of pharmacists who answered their career questions and queries.

Khaled Fageha, HR director of AbbVie in Saudi Arabia, said: “As a global pharmaceutical company, there is an ever-growing need to attract the brightest Saudi talent and increase the talent pool of pharmacists. There is so much potential in the Kingdom, which we are always striving to unlock at AbbVie. Through initiatives like this, we are able to equip students across Saudi Arabia with the tools and knowledge to help them thrive in the health care industry, as well as ignite their passion for a career in pharmacy.”

Students said they found the workshop informative. “I’ve always been passionate about a role in pharmacy, but I was a bit unsure about what awaits after graduation. Thanks to this workshop, I was able to hear about the exciting prospects of working at a pharmaceutical company, such as AbbVie. I was able to ask all my questions, and now I am excited to continue working hard so I can begin my journey as a pharmacist,” said Sondos Alkhthlan, a student.

Another student, Nawaf Alharthi said: “This was an engaging workshop which has cemented my interest in becoming a pharmacist after graduating from KAU.”