The 2020 accelerator is seeking 50 startups at all stages of the startup process in industry areas such as, fintech, energy, health, tourism, retail and digital.
By Staff Writer, Arab News
Saudi Arabia - King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Saudi British Bank (SABB) have teamed up for the fourth year in a row to launch the TAQADAM startup accelerator. Young entrepreneurs can apply from March 1 to 21 to join the six-month program and compete to win funding up to SR375,000 ($100,000). The TAQADAM Bootcamp starts on June 28.
Over the course of the program, accepted startups and aspiring entrepreneurs will bring their ideas to market through mentoring and training in topics such as ideation, product design, marketing and fundraising. Accepted teams will receive SR150,000 in zero-equity grant-funding, build a network and have access to co-working and lab facilities. At the completion of the program, startups have the opportunity to compete in a final pitch competition for SR375,000 in zero-equity follow-on funding.
“This is a milestone year for our TAQADAM accelerator as we go beyond universities and open the program to all entrepreneurs in the Kingdom,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, vice president of innovation and economic development at KAUST. “We are looking for people who are creating new and innovative businesses with the potential to change the world. Over the last three years we have seen incredible companies come through the program — from supercomputing to gaming to health care. The entrepreneurship ecosystem is rapidly growing in Saudi Arabia and we are so excited to be a part of it.”
The 2020 accelerator is seeking 50 startups at all stages of the startup process in industry areas such as, fintech, energy, health, tourism, retail and digital. Startup applicants will be judged on their ideas, viability, scalability and team.
David Dew, managing director, SABB, said: “Startups are key to the Kingdom’s plans to diversify the economy and create jobs. As the Kingdom’s leading bank for business, we want to play our part in helping young entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses. We’re proud to help TAQADAM build on its legacy of equipping young people with the skills and confidence they need to bring their ideas to market.”
In 2017, KAUST and SABB partnered to launch the first TAQADAM startup accelerator program as a way to support entrepreneurs in taking the first leap toward founding a startup. The accelerator has now graduated 78 startups with more than 300 entrepreneurs receiving grant funding of over SR12 million.
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