RIYADH: MBC Group and its in-house commercial advertising and sales unit MBC Media Solutions have partnered with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones to launch a reality entrepreneurship competition for Arab youth.
The “Irbak” TV show initiative was announced by the Saudi government during the recent #LaunchKSA, the largest technological event of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The event saw a slew of new projects being unveiled, including “Irbak,” reaffirming the Kingdom’s commitment to positioning itself as a technological hub that encourages and celebrates innovators, programmers, and entrepreneurs.
Faisal Al-Khamis, chairman of the SAFCSP, said: “The world’s largest tech companies are founded by programmers. Therefore, we believe that programming is the future, especially when it comes to the digital economy of Saudi Arabia, and the Arab world.”
The move follows the directives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to achieve the goals of Vision 2030 by seizing the opportunities of the digital economy.
Al-Khamis noted that the federation placed great emphasis on supporting and empowering Arab youth in general and Saudi youth especially who were “passionate about technology, programming, and entrepreneurship — to utilize their capabilities in supporting their country and the world.”
“Irbak” will showcase some of the Arab world’s rising and most promising entrepreneurs and startup owners, offering insights into the region’s burgeoning tech sector, in addition to a number of other industries where young business owners are creating change.
Al-Khamis pointed out that “Irbak” aimed to shed light on tech startup companies that had transformed the way sectors operated.
“We hope that the future generation of the Arab world gets inspired by the show, having them follow the example of the Arab programmers and entrepreneurs as the solution is not to find a job but create jobs for everyone,” he added.
The original TV concept will see more than 50 companies across different sectors compete in on-the-spot challenges and real-life scenarios, with expert mentors and consultants judging each startup and a winner being announced at the end of every episode.
As part of the partnership, MBC Group will air “Irbak” across three of its TV channels, while its MMS unit will provide the SAFCSP with expertise and consultation on creative conceptualization, distribution, and marketing support.
Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, chief executive officer of MMS, said: “MMS looks forward to sharing its expertise in making ‘Irbak’ a success, be it in the conceptualization process of the show or the marketing and sales process that comes afterward.”
The planned 10 episodes of “Irbak” will air on MBC1, MBC Iraq, and MBC Masr during the first quarter of next year.