KAUST startups compete in Misk’s 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup

KAUST startups compete in Misk’s 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup
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Doaa Al-Balawi, Principal Investigator in Botany for the start-up Natovia and first place winner in the early stage of the Kingdom’s National Entrepreneurship Competition. (Supplied)
KAUST startups compete in Misk’s 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup
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Hussam Sabano, co-founder of the startup Logixa and winner of the second place in the early stage of the National Competition for Entrepreneurship in the Kingdom. (Supplied)
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Updated 03 November 2021

KAUST startups compete in Misk’s 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup

KAUST startups compete in Misk’s 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup

THUWAL, Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) announced, on Wednesday, that two of its startups have qualified for the 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), the world’s largest entrepreneurship competition supporting more than 300,000 entrepreneurs from 200 different countries. 

The two KAUST's startups managed to reach the world EWC finals after winning in the National Entrepreneurship Competition that took place in Saudi Arabia on October 18, 2021. The two startups will compete along other winners to pitch on the stage at the global finals that will take place on Nov.17-18 in Riyadh, for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $1 million. 

“We are delighted to see that KAUST startups are gaining global recognition for their outstanding impact in the Kingdom. We, at KAUST, are committed to developing the Kingdom’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, which is an essential part of the Saudi vision 2030 for diversifying the economy,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, Vice President for Innovation at KAUST. 

This year’s KAUST startups includes Natufia, the company that managed thanks to it world’s first fully integrated and automated indoor smart hydroponic kitchen garden, to rank first in the early stage, winning $53.000 and Logicsa, a platform for on-demand storage. The platform that was founded by a TAQADAM Accelerator graduate ranked second, winning a $27.000.  KAUST startups have a proven track record of success at the Misk’s Entrepreneurship World Competition, where Red Sea Farm, a KAUST agriculture technology spinout was placed third at the 2019 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC). 

Founders and entrepreneurs from all over the world can participate and compete in the Entrepreneurship World Cup by pitching and showcasing their emerging ideas and projects during national competitions in different cities around the world. Then, qualifying companies from each country will travel to Riyadh, to compete for the $1 million grand prize and an opportunity to receive packages of privileges and support services and communicate with other participants and investors so as to develop and refine their ideas.  

As a partner in the Entrepreneurship World Cup along with Misk Foundation for the third year in a row, KAUST plays a key role in supporting startup programs by developing student capabilities and training them, entering into global research partnerships and undertaking commercial marketing. KAUST and Misk share a common goal of attracting outstanding talent and cutting-edge technologies to Saudi Arabia to empower and support startups in the country. In addition, Misk supports young Saudis in particular by giving them the opportunity to present their ideas at this great global forum. 

The Kingdom’s entrepreneurial scene is progressing rapidly in line with its ambition to transform into a knowledge-based digital economy by adopting new and sustainable innovations and technologies, led by young entrepreneurs and innovative startups that contribute to addressing important global issues in vital areas such as food, water, energy and the environment. KAUST continues to promote innovation and technology and support the entrepreneurial environment to drive real economic transformation and achieve a sustainable future for the Kingdom and the world.  

the University has graduated more than 100 startups through its award-winning local and international entrepreneurship programs, including the TAQADAM and 9/10ths accelerators.