Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Semi-finalists of the MITEF Startup competition in Saudi and the Arab world have been announced by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region and the MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia. The competition, which covers three tracks (startups, ideas, and social entrepreneurship), is to organize the Start Smart Conference along with the closing ceremony on February 23, 2022, at the King Salman International Convention Center in Madinah

Semi-finalists were selected by a panel of 150 judges, who are business and academic experts from all around the universe. More than 2600 submitted projects coming from 20 Arab countries were evaluated as per the competition criteria gauging creativity, scalability and the positive impact on society. At the top of the list came the ideas track with (1,466 candidates), followed by startups (853 entries) and social entrepreneurship (288 entries).

The semi-finalists are to be hosted by the Taibah University training camp which will be held in the university campus in Madinah on February 17-18, 2022 and will be supervised by specialized trainers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The second judging round is to be launched on February 20, 2022 to announce the finalists; while the third, which will select the winners, will be on February 22.  The Startups Investment Forum will be held in Saudi Arabia over February 21, 22 and 23, 2022.

“The entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem has reached an inflection point as 450-plus alumni are leading their way through the domains of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental infrastructure”, Hala Fadel, Founder and Chair of MITEF Pan Arab said. “Today and more than any time before, we must innovate and invest in sustainable businesses that ensure a better future for our communities. The Startup Competition depends on its regional reach to attract Arab innovators of all backgrounds. The aim is to bring their startups and their expertise and grant them the opportunity to find new ways to progress with our partners in Community Jameel Saudi and the MIT

Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia. Congratulations for joining the Startup Competition and we are looking forward to prosper together, Fadel added.

Hassan Jameel, Vice Chairman of Community Jameel, said: “On behalf of Community Jameel Saudi, it’s extremely encouraging to see such a diverse range of submissions at this year’s MITEF Startup competition, marking an exciting milestone in the growing entrepreneurial environment in Saudi Arabia and the Arab region. This is the first time Al Madina Al Munawara has welcomed a competition of this scale, especially in partnership with an internationally renowned body like MIT, which firmly places the city at the forefront of the evolving incubator scene for entrepreneurship and startups in the Kingdom and beyond.”

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About MITEF Saudi Arabia: 

MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Saudi Arabia is part of a global network of chapters dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. MITEF informs, connects, and coaches Saudi entrepreneurs—enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies.

Founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, MITEF aims to celebrate and support all potential startups and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom through Startups and Ideas Competition.

The MITEF Saudi startup competition has three tracks: Startups Track, Social Track and Ideas Track. The competition offers over SAR 325,000 cash prize, in addition to workshops and training and guidance sessions supervised by specialists and experts in all economic and social sectors. The finalists will have the opportunity to participate in StartSmart, one of the MIT Global Forum’s programs which is organized before the announcement of the winners and attended by specialists from MIT University, USA. The aim of the program is to encourage, motivate and guide entrepreneurs to achieve success at the level of the three tracks: ideas, social enterprises and business enterprises through workshops and enrichment programs directly related to technology and creativity. 

About MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab:

MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab is part of a global network of chapters dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. We inform, connect, and coach early-stage technology entrepreneurs—enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies. Founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Arab World, we aim to celebrate and support all potential startups and entrepreneurs in the Pan Arab Region through our programs. 

For more information, please contact:
Abir Ben Bechir

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