Largest start-up event in the Kingdom slated

Getty Images/Sean Gallup
Getty Images/Sean Gallup
Getty Images/Sean Gallup
With the ambitious Vision 2030 driving Saudi Arabia to a knowledge-based economy, technology innovation and entrepreneurship have emerged as key pillars for the countrys transformation


With the ambitious Vision 2030 driving Saudi Arabia to a knowledge-based economy, technology innovation and entrepreneurship have emerged as key pillars for the country’s transformation. Against this backdrop, thousands of digital business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors will gather in Riyadh on Dec 12-13 in for the largest technology gathering to take place in the Kingdom, under the banner of “Rise of the Innovation Kingdom.” The massive gathering will feature two events taking place simultaneously: Monsha’at Startup Saudi, for 3,000+ entrepreneurs, youth and students, organized by ArabNet; and ArabNet Riyadh for 1,000+ corporate executives and senior government leaders, held in strategic partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at).

The two concurrent events will bring together 150+ expert speakers from around the world, with full tracks of programming covering a range of topics. Monsha’at Startup Saudi will feature inspirational stories and keynotes in 3 tracks: Launchpad for startups and investment, MerchantHub for e-commerce and payments, and Mediabuzz for the future of content creation and digital media; meanwhile, ArabNet Riyadh will feature more advanced discussions on digital trends in two tracks: Ad/Edge for advanced discussions in digital media and advertising, Finverse for digital banking and fintech.

Central to this event will be the collaboration between SAGIA and ArabNet to bring - from the region and beyond - 100 startups and 50 VC / tech investors in the largest tech entrepreneurship showcase to take place in the Kingdom, and encourage them to invest and establish operations in KSA. Over all, the event will feature over 200 startups and 100 investors, with more than $1B in capital available for startups seeking investment, and will be hosted for the 7th time by King Abdulaziz City of Science Technology (KACST) and Badir Program for Technology Incubators.

The event will gather the top corporates from the Kingdom and beyond, many of which are already confirmed as sponsors: NCB Bank is sponsoring the Ideathon, a competition for youth with innovative ideas; Riyad Bank is sponsoring the Startup Battle, a competition for early stage technology startups with a working product; Elm is sponsoring a series of workshops for entrepreneurs to improve their businesses; Digital Media Services (DMS) and OMD are both sponsoring tracks on the hottest topics in digital media and advertising; in addition to other key clients like Saudi Customs, Meem Bank (by GIB), Dawiyat, Saudi Research and Marketing Group, Careem, Hyperpay, Criteo, and HalalaH. These sponsors, as well as strategic government partners and startups, will all be showcasing in the TechFair exhibition area alongside the conference activities.

The event will also feature a number of dynamic initiatives to support entrepreneurs including: The Academy, workshops on entrepreneurship, marketing and e-commerce; The Clinic, bringing leaders in HR, legal, finance, marketing, and technology to provide startups expert consultations; Sawalif Riyadeyah, gathering successful GCC founders to share their journey and lessons learned with aspiring entrepreneurs; Instashops, pop-up stores for Instagram e-commerce businesses to showcase their products; The MatchUp, 1-on-1 meetings between top business executives and startups; Women Mentoring Women, bringing regional women leaders to mentor ladies who are just starting out. — SG


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