KAUST to host bootcamp for Arab & Saudi startups

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.
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Updated 04 February 2020

KAUST to host bootcamp for Arab & Saudi startups

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.”


Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Updated 19 February 2020

Hyundai launches new i30 N in South Africa

Hyundai Motors has increased its presence in South Africa by launching its first mass-produced high-performance car — i30 N — last week in Cape Town. 

The first model of the N brand, the i30 N is Hyundai’s first high-performance car, which has been developed with a key focus on its race-track capability and its ability to be a fun-to-drive everyday sports car. 

“Advanced technology and a high level of driver customization has been built into the i30 N, which means it can play the role of a comfort-oriented commuter as well as a race-track ready performance car,” the automaker said.

The i30 N has a 1,998 cc, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with its maximum power output of 202 kW reached at 6,000 r/minute, while maximum torque is achieved from 1,500 to 4 700 r/minute. 

The power is delivered to the front wheels of the i30 N through a six-speed manual gearbox and has five different drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom, which can be accessed through two dedicated buttons on the car’s steering wheel. 

The i30 N has a rev matching function built-in to adjust the engine revolutions when the driver shifts from a higher to a lower gear, thereby ensuring smooth gear shifting. The dual muffler exhaust sounds add to the pleasure of commanding a high-performance vehicle.

Speaking at the launch, Niall Lynch, CEO of Hyundai Automotive South, said: “The i30 N is one of the most exciting cars Hyundai has made in the recent years highlighting Hyundai’s talented designers and engineers who are always setting new standards.

“It is a high-performance car meant to deliver a fun driving experience and I have no doubt there’s a bright future in store for the Hyundai i30 N in South Africa. It has already been described as a ‘game changer’ with more than 20,000 units sold across Europe since we started trading in 2017.”

The i30 N has stylish 19-inch wheels with 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tires and red brake callipers featuring the N-logo. Aggressive bumpers with larger air intakes and a red character line, an aerodynamic rear spoiler with a triangular brake light, and a dual muffler exhaust complete the sleek, sporty look.

The i30 N also features the electronically controlled suspension (ECS) and electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which ensures an exhilarating drive with cornering capabilities that befits the i30 N’s hot-hatch character.

Customers can choose from five color options — Polar White, Performance Blue, Micron Grey, Phantom Black and Engine Red.

Hyundai plans to launch the i30 N model in the Middle East toward the end of 2020.