Saudi startups win cash prizes at finals of TAQADAM accelerator program

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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding. (SPA)
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Photo/KAUST Innovation
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Photo/KAUST Innovation
Updated 01 October 2019

Saudi startups win cash prizes at finals of TAQADAM accelerator program

  • The program gives Saudi students, staff and recent graduates the support to start a successful tech-based company through mentoring and training

JEDDAH: Over 1,100 participants, investors, and mentors gathered at the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) headquarters in Thuwal to watch the conclusion of the third edition of the TAQADAM accelerator program, one of KAUST’s flagship entrepreneurship events.
In line with Saudi Arabia’s objectives of supporting new ventures, the program focuses on preparing new entrepreneurs for the challenges ahead, offering over six months of business training and mentorship in various industries, including e-commerce, health care and technology.
The program gives Saudi students, staff and recent graduates the support to start a successful tech-based company through mentoring and training.
The theme of this year’s event was “The Future Reimagined.” This encouraged the program’s entrepreneurs to create technologies of the future that would benefit the Kingdom. Working with mentors from the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, they were able to design, develop and take their startup ideas to market.
Kevin Cullen, vice president of innovation and economic development at KAUST, said: “We are proud to support entrepreneurs and offer them the best environment and tools to create innovations that can change the world. Today, we have watched some incredible ideas and technologies that are solving issues across different industries in health care, agriculture, water, food, gaming, education and more. Congratulations winners, well done.”
Among the competing startups were 100 founders from 13 Saudi universities, representing a wide range of industries. During the event, each startup was given three minutes to pitch their ideas, followed by three minutes of Q&A and another three minutes of feedback from the judges.
Launched in 2016 in partnership with The Saudi British Bank (SABB), the TAQADAM accelerator program has successfully graduated 78 startups and awarded over SR9 million ($2.4 million) in funding.
Deputy managing director of transformation at SABB, Soren Nikolajsen, said that Saudi Arabia is enjoying huge changes and it is vital that the next generation of businesses is helped to seize these opportunities.

 

 “We’re determined to play our part in building a more diverse and sustainable economy, and one of the best ways we can do that is supporting the grassroots of the business ecosystem: Young entrepreneurs. Today’s winners show just what a great job TAQADAM has done developing new entrepreneurial talent,” Nikolajsen said.
The head of the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, Hattan Ahmed, said that its main goal is to create high quality, high impact new ventures from across Saudi Arabia by providing the professional training and mentorship needed to help take their ideas to the market.
“We are so proud of the startups graduating from our accelerator program and we look forward to supporting more,” he said. The following program winners each received SR375,000.
Firnas Aero: Drones on demand for airport infrastructure inspection. Faseeh: Learning app to teach Arabic language skills to help raise Qiyas scores.
Genos Tech: Turning microalgae into products such as Vitamin A and dietary supplements. Peregrine Genomics: Providing accurate premarital genetic diagnoses in half the time and cost. 
Gluco Jet: Non-invasive and pain-free glucose testing for diabetes patients. Talon Dust Control: Low-cost, liquid spray-on solution for environmental dust control. Carbon CPU was the “People’s Choice Winner,” receiving SR187,500 after a live vote from the audience. 

Decoder

TAQADAM

is a Saudi startup accelerator for ideas that are pushing the boundaries of science and technology. Over the course of six months, it helps aspiring entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market through mentorship and training in ideation, product design, marketing and fundraising. Accepted teams receive SR75,000 in grant funding and access to working space in the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center and prototyping lab.


KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia is biggest donor to Yemen

Updated 30 May 2020

KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia is biggest donor to Yemen

  • Al-Rabeeah said he hoped the donors conference would be supported by the international community
  • $180 million is needed urgently to fight COVID-19 in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is the largest donor to humanitarian efforts in Yemen and its response to a donor conference held in 2015 is evidence of this, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) said on Saturday.
The supervisor general of KSRelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said that meeting the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people is a priority for the Kingdom.
He added that he hoped the upcoming donors conference organized by the Kingdom in partnership with the United Nations would be supported and well received by the international community.
Meanwhile, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock said the Kingdom donated more than $750 million last year and pledged $500 million in April.
Lowcock added that this makes Saudi Arabia the biggest donor to Yemen, which requires $2.4 billion to fund the aid operation for the rest of the year. Of that figure, $180 million is needed urgently to fight COVID-19.
Yemen’s Minister of Information Moammar Al-Eryani said that the Kingdom has always provided support to Yemen and continues to do so at a time when Iran is “providing nothing but killing, destruction, smuggled weapons, ballistic missiles … and explosive devices that kill Yemenis every day.”
The donors conference for Yemen is due to take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Saudi time.