Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has teamed up with Dubai-based AstroLabs as well as strategic partners to launch the Mega Green Accelerator which will endorse startups in the MENA region in climate-related fields.
The new initiative is designated to startups focusing on circular economy solutions, clean energy transition, and climate mitigation technologies, according to a press release.
The involved partners will provide participating entrepreneurs with access to part of the most prominent business leaders in MENA in order for them to seed funding and mentorship. The initiative aims to nurture the next generation of innovators as they develop solutions to overcome regional and global sustainability challenges.
CEO of PepsiCo, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, Eugene Willemsen, said: “Innovators in the MENA region have incredible potential for scaling and are making important strides to develop homegrown solutions to address the unique challenges the region is facing.”
Willemsen added: “By bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and the networks and resources they need, we are committed to supporting breakthrough start-ups as they scale sustainability solutions, grow their businesses and form critical connections.”
The Mega Green Accelerator has its investment partners, Dubai Future District Fund, Venture Souq, and Shurooq Partners, to provide platforms for investment opportunities and mentorship in raising capital, besides networking opportunities.
From his side, SABIC Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, Bob Maughon, said: “SABIC is proud to join with PepsiCo and other fellow partners to provide our business expertise, mentorship, resources and platform to help the brightest minds in the region reach their full potential through the Mega Green Accelerator.”
Over the coming months, PepsiCo and partners are expected to share additional details and application information for the Mega Green Accelerator, which has its ecosystem partners as London Business School Entrepreneurship Club, Berytech, the American University of Cairo (AUC) Venture Lab, the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, and the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection.
Meanwhile, Schneider Electric is the prize partner taking part in the final selection of participants.
AstroLabs’ CEO, Roland Daher, said: "Our partnership with PepsiCo and SABIC comes at an exciting time - it’s a strategic step in accelerating innovation within the GCC, with a strong focus on sustainability. With the influx of international sustainable and climate-conscious companies, the region is rising as a global testbed for innovation - we will double down on creating an environment where these businesses can scale into the local markets.”
It is worth noting that AstroLabs Campus facility in Dubai witnessed the Grand Final of the second London Business School’s (LBS) MENA Startup Competition 2023 in October.
As for the financial results during the first nine months (9M) of 2023, SABIC incurred net losses after Zakat and tax worth SAR 1.04 billion.
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