King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Saudi are partnering to attract and support entrepreneurial talents in the region. KAUST is hosting around 45 startups from around the Kingdom for a bootcamp from Match 1 to 3 on its Thuwal campus. The bootcamp will consist of intensive activities, including pitch practice, mentoring, design thinking to business model development in three different tracks: Social, startup, and scaleup.
“We are excited to partner with MITEF Pan Arab and Saudi — one of the most prominent and established entrepreneurship programs that has graduated some of the top startups in the region,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, vice president of innovation and economic development at KAUST. “We support startups from across the region with insights into the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurship ecosystem, and we help them tap into the support that KAUST offers through training and mentorship as well as access to funding and investor networks.”
Semifinalists from MITEF Saudi, which are part of a global network of chapters dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide, are gearing up for the MITEF Saudi semifinals taking place at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on March 7, leading up to the MITEF Pan Arab Region finals in Abu Dhabi on April 8.
Seven KAUST-trained startups have qualified for the MITEF Saudi semifinals, which include: Dormagg, Ghallah, Arabi, Firnas Aero, Sanoor, Wisensing, and Scientific Saudi. The participants will compete to win cash prizes, mentorship opportunities and advanced training, as well as opportunities to network with investors and the media.
MITEF Pan Arab was founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Arab world.
“The bootcamp will offer this year’s Arab Startup Competition semifinalist teams unprecedented access to top-tier training, which will prepare them to face the judges a month later,” said Maya Rahal, managing director of the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab. “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.”
“The bootcamp is an important preparatory phase for the competitors to increase their chances of winning and their excellence in presenting to the judges,” said Bayan Abdullah Algamdi, head of entrepreneurship programs, MITEF Saudi. “We would like, on this occasion, to thank all of our partners, especially KAEC and KAUST for their continuous support in motivating entrepreneurs and their innovation in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.”