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.


Friendly guide to get ready for fun, fitness with the Color Run

Updated 26 min 52 sec ago

Friendly guide to get ready for fun, fitness with the Color Run

JEDDAH: The countdown to the Color Run has begun and the most colorful race on the planet returning to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 26, as part of the General Entertainment Authority’s efforts to attract top entertainment to the Kingdom. There will be a 5-kilometer run in Riyadh this Saturday and one in Jeddah on Nov. 2, with thousands expected to take part at each location.

People who want to take part can visit www.ksa.thecolorrun.com, collect the limited-edition participant packs, and follow this friendly guide to make sure they have an unforgettable experience.

 

Make exercise — in any form — a weekly family activity

Walking or jogging is easy, common and free. But doing it as a family is a fun way to spend time together and improve family life overall. Over the next few days plan a “test run” with the family to see how they fare. It will help them prepare for what is coming and create a special bonding opportunity with children, improve the family’s health, and teach the little ones a valuable lesson about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to develop into happy, active adults.

 

Fuel up for your first 5k

The family’s diet leading up to the race will help them stay energized and enjoy their first 5k run, walk or sprint. On the day of the event, offer the family a tasty breakfast that is packed with unprocessed carbs, for example a muffin and an apple, toast with jam and a piece of fruit, or a bowl of cereal topped with raisins or other dried fruit. Don’t forget to hydrate before, during and especially after finishing the run. Plan to arrive at the start line with enough time to use the washroom before the 5k begins without feeling rushed.

 

Show off your colors

It goes without saying that one of the things that makes this run different is the color. That means the best way to get those Instagram-worthy photos is to make sure participants are wearing clothes that help those beautiful colors shine through. While the limited-edition participation packs have everyone covered with the Hero Tour Color Run T-Shirt and other cool gear, it would work in a runner’s favor to sport the white or pastel clothes.

 

Take the essentials

As participants jog, skip or walk through the event, they will want to keep things as light as possible. This is why the event’s organizers recommend bringing only things people really need, preferably things that fit into a light carry-on zip lock baggie. This way they are free to go all out with their dance moves at the post-run finish carnival as well.

 

Make the memories last

Participants are encouraged to make sure to take a before and after photo as a family. One snap in the limited edition Hero Tour Color Run T-Shirt at the starting line, then another after the 5k once the participants are covered in color. Frame it or post it on Instagram to remind family members of their happiest 5k run together.