RIYADH: Nineteen entrepreneurs are taking the next step on their business journey after graduating from the Misk Accelerator Program, a partnership between Mohammed bin Salman Foundation and innovation specialists Plug and Play.
The new graduates are from Cohort 3 of the scheme, which offers emerging startups from around the MENA region the chance to turbocharge growth with a 12-week program of training, mentorship and business tools.
The entrepreneurs are from areas including technology, finance, aerospace, tourism, education and retail.
Demo Day, the final event in the accelerator program, ended yesterday. All graduates are now eligible for the accelerator alumni program.
Misk Director Nasser Almutairi and Plug and Play Saudi Arabia Director Henrik Baerentsen delivered welcoming speeches. The 19 participating startups then proceeded to pitch their businesses to investors.
The Misk Accelerator Program has become one of the region’s most productive. It has supported more than 60 startups that have created around 275 jobs, raised $40 million in funding and reached a combined market valuation of more than $300 million.
The program has also contributed to the objectives of the entrepreneurship arm of Misk, which seeks to enable the creation of 10,000 jobs.
“We are delighted to see so many aspirational entrepreneurs successfully conclude Cohort 3 of the Misk Accelerator Program,” said Almutairi.
“Through our strategic partnership with Plug and Play, we are moving further and faster to create a new generation of homegrown unicorn companies in Saudi Arabia that can contribute to Saudi Vision 2030 and to the Kingdom’s rapid economic growth.
Baerentsen said: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Misk Foundation and to conclude successfully, our third edition of the Misk Accelerator Program.
“We are looking forward to continuing our support to all of the program alumni post program. This program generally has accelerated the growth of more than 60 unique talents and high-caliber startups who were selected in our cohorts.”
Misk and Plug and Play announced that applications have now opened for Cohort 4 of the accelerator program. The deadline is in January.