King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will host an intensive training bootcamp for more than 100 semifinalist startups in Thuwal, from March 1 to 3. Over the course of three days, semifinalists of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition and MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Startup Competition will undertake intense training, focusing on pitching skills, business model canvas, design thinking, and more.
The final round of judging for MITEF Saudi Startup Competition will happen in Jeddah on March 7, after which the winners will join the finalists of the MITEF Arab Startup Competition and go through a final round of judging on April 8 in Abu Dhabi.
Semifinalist teams will compete to win equity-free cash prizes, mentorship opportunities, top-tier training, as well as networking with MENA investors and media.
Each team will receive a tailored training experience based on the track they applied for (either Startups Track, Ideas Track, or Social Entrepreneurship Track).
With support from the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center and other industry experts, the semifinalist teams will learn tips and tricks on how to perfect their pitch to secure potential investment funding and partnerships. During the bootcamp, the semifinalist teams will learn from more than 40 mentors from various backgrounds, industries, and expertise, and receive feedback on their pitch decks, presentation skills, and value proposition to help prepare them for the regional finals in April.
Maya Rahal, managing director of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, said: “The bootcamp will offer this year’s Arab Startup Competition semifinalist teams unprecedented access to top-tier training, preparing them to face the judges a month later.”
She added: “This year’s bootcamp at KAUST, our Innovation Partner, joins for the first time both the pan-Arab and Saudi chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum, marking a new milestone in the competition’s history. I want to thank our founding partners Community Jameel for their ongoing trust and faith in this region’s youths’ ability to lead for a better world.”
KAUST Innovation and Economic Development Vice President Dr. Kevin Cullen: “This year we expect to support over 100 startups and offer them insight into the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurship ecosystem where they will discover the support KAUST offers to entrepreneurs from across the Middle East through training, mentorship and access to funding and investor networks.”
Bayan Abdullah Algamdi, head of entrepreneurship programs and MITEF Saudi, added: “The bootcamp training is an important preparatory phase for the competitors to increase their chances of winning and their excellence in presenting their projects to the judges in the next phases.”