MITEF Saudi Startup Competition Draws More than 2,500 Entries

25 Dec 2017

• The competition is in partnership with Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre
• Semi-finalists to be announced in January 2018
• Winners to be announced on March 3 at an awards ceremony in Riyadh

MITEF Saudi Startup Competition Draws More than 2,500 Entries

  • The competition is in partnership with Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre
  • Semi-finalists to be announced in January 2018
  • Winners to be announced on March 3 at an awards ceremony in Riyadh            

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 25, 2017: MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia’s annual Startup competition has attracted 2,536 entries for 2018 – up 14 percent on the previous year.

Under the theme ‘‘Create your tomorrow’’, the competition has three categories – ideas, startup, and social enterprise.

‘Startup’ has shown the biggest growth at 45 percent, followed by ‘ideas’ at 27 percent and ‘social entrepreneurship’ at 14 percent.

Teams qualifying for the semi-finals will be announced on January 15, 2018. They will receive intensive guidance and training over the next two months, with the winners to be announced on March 3 at an awards ceremony in Riyadh where the guest of honour will be HE Dr Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and investment.    

The competition is organised by Bab Rizq Jameel, the Community Jameel initiative that provides sustainable jobs, training, and education for Saudi Arabian citizens in partnership with Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre. The 2018 competition is the third in the series.

Mohammed Yahia Hakami. Executive Director, International Operations and Business Development at Community Jameel commended the continuous support provided by private businesses and government organisations and stressed that the entrepreneurship environment is integral and needs support by all concerned parties to expand and flourish.

MITEF Saudi commended the continuous support provided by private businesses and government organisations and stressed that the entrepreneurship environment is integral and needs support by all concerned parties to expand and flourish. 

Sultan bin Mohammed AlShahrani, Chief Human Resources and Communication Officer at Zain Saudi Arabia said: “We are pleased to support MITEF Saudi Startup Competition for the second successive year, affirming the role of such competitions in providing opportunities to Saudi young talents to join the entrepreneurship community, which in return supports the vision of the Kingdom 2030, the ambitious vision that we all must work to achieve its goals and programmes. The strong competition in previous editions, and the number and level of candidates this year, promises a bright future for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.”

Engineer Ali Sayyar, General Manager of Dulani Business Centre, said: “Our participation comes as part of Dulani’s policy to communicate and collaborate with various entities to support and develop entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. Dulani is the first centre in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to provide a comprehensive set of non-financial services free for small business owners. Through this participation, we aim to provide training, guidance, and consulting that the participating creative talents need.”

This year, MITEF Saudi Startup Competition is partnered by a number of key government and non-government organisations: the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (government partner), Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre (strategic), King Khalid Foundation (social entrepreneurship), SEDCO Holding (financial awareness, Eye of Riyadh and MIT Technology Review (media partners), MITEF Pan Arab (regional partner), Wamda (entrepreneurship awareness) partner, and IRO (technical). Service partners include KAUST, Olow, Qutuf, and Jain KSA.