The MITEF Saudi Arabia, a program of the global network of MIT Enterprise Forum, in collaboration with Bab Rizq Jameel, recently announced the semifinalists in the competition’s three tracks: Startups, Ideas, and Social Enterprises. The competition will be holding its closing ceremony virtually on March 6 under the patronage of Abdullah A. Al-Swaha, minister of communications and information technology.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will be represented by Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Future Jobs and Digital Entrepreneurship Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan.
The semifinalists were selected by a jury composed of 100 business and academic experts from all over the world, who evaluated more than 500 projects against the competition criteria, which are creativity, potential to expand and the positive impact on the community.
The second round of judging will be held on Feb. 20 to announce the names of the finalists (27 teams). The third round will be held on March 3, after the virtual briefing sessions and the business accelerator from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13. A Startup Investment Forum will be held on March 4, 5 and 6.
Bayan Alghamdi, head of entrepreneurship programs and MITEF Saudi at Community Jameel, said: “This year, the MITEF Saudi Arabia competition saw remarkable progress in terms of the quality of entries in various categories and fields, including e-commerce, education technologies, consumer services, productivity applications, in addition to digital technologies and healthcare.
“The competition is organized in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to support small and medium enterprises. The total number of applicants since the launch of the competition in 2015 has reached more than 8,500 participants from all over Saudi Arabia, thanks to the support of all governmental and private companies. Despite the hard times we have gone through this year due to the global pandemic, entrepreneurs were able to overcome this challenge with a lot of creativity and innovation that contributed to curbing this pandemic, and we wish all the best for participants and good luck to the semifinalists.”
To qualify for the competition, applicants must present an innovative project that is scalable and capable of making a positive impact on the community.
The Saudi startups that qualified for the semifinals of the 5th MITEF Saudi Startup Competition are: Jirah, Nugttah, Grintafy, Future Platform, Winch, Meeza, Hudhud AI, LOGEXA, Linkers IoT, Tafeyette Inc., Spider Connect, Shgardi, BashQash, PhysioHome, and Hesba.
Semifinalists in the Ideas track included 15 teams: Genomez, Hydrojeen, Sawty, Estidama, Hakawati Game, Carissimi, Msaha, Themar, Qawam, SARsat, Aquash, Mthmr, White Helmet, Harreef, and Vending Machine Layer.