TAQADAM Startup Accelerator

TAQADAM Startup Accelerator

TAQADAM is a Saudi Arabian startup accelerator for ideas that are pushing the boundaries of technology. Over the course of 6-months, we help aspiring entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market through mentorship and training in topics such as ideation, product design, marketing and fundraising. Accepted teams receive grant-funding and access to co-working space across the Kingdom. At the completion of the program, selected graduates are eligible for zero-equity follow on funding

TAQADAM is made for entrepreneurs at all stages of growth. The program is a partnership between King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and SABB.

Accelerator Details

  • 6-month accelerator program followed by post-accelerator support during a six months incubation period.
  • Part-time program; selected startups must be available on-site for a two-week bootcamp and regular workshops.
  • Startup teams per cohort are selected based on quality and viability.
  • Access to co-working office, prototyping lab and incubator space.
  • Managed by the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, with support from local and international mentors, and in partnership with SABB.
  • Startups receive zero-equity grant funding based on completion of milestones plus the chance to pitch for follow-on funding.
  • Innovation and startup training: value proposition, business model development, design thinking, investor pitching.
  • Product testing and prototyping support where possible.
  • Exposure to KAUST’s existing network of partners, potential clients, and investors including the KAUST Innovation Fund.

Accelerator Information

TAQADAM is a highly competitive accelerator program. The last application round received over 600 applications, from which 45 teams advanced to the second round of judging. During this phase, teams from across Saudi Arabia completed a one-month pre-accelerator bootcamp leading to a business pitch event at KAUST. At the end of the bootcamp, 30 startups were selected to participate in the TAQADAM Accelerator program and to receive pre-seed grant funding.

The teams then spend the next five months participating in an intensive startup accelerator environment. The mentor-led program encompasses training to help launch and scale their new ventures, bootcamps and access to office space at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center. Teams also receive one-on-one sessions with mentors in their field. The most promising of these startups are eligible for additional seed funding from SABB and the KAUST with successful startups receiving zero-equity follow-on funding.

TAQADAM accelerator is open to all entrepreneurs and startups from different industries. Our previous cohorts graduated startups from the following industries:

  • Energy
  • Food
  • Water
  • Fintech
  • Retail
  • Digital
  • Cybersecurity
  • Tourism
  • Logistics
  • Mobility
  • Health
  • Gaming
  • Agriculture

Applications close: March 21, 2020
TAQADAM Bootcamp starts: June 28, 2020

KAUST Accelerator Team

Abdulrahman AlJiffry, KAUST

Arwa Shafi, KAUST

Nawaf Algain, KAUST

Hattan Ahmed, KAUST

Roberto Ciaramaria, KAUST

Nikolaos Tsorpatzidis, KAUST

Applications for the 2020 cohort are now open!

Apply Now

What we’re looking for?

To be eligible to join the TAQADAM Accelerator Program, two members of the team participants are required to attend all accelerator activities. The accelerator requires a 6 months time commitment, which will involve day, evening and weekend events.

Find out more about what we look for in a startup.

All applicants that are utilizing intellectual property need to have the correct written permission to commercialize the technologies in their startup idea from their university and/or company transfer office.

For more information

Contact: ec@kaust.edu.sa

TAQADAM has successfully graduated 78 startups since 2016 and awarded over 9 million SAR in funding. TAQADAM entrepreneurs have joined the accelerator from 20 universities across Saudi Arabia with and represent core industries such as FinTech, BioTech, retail, ICT, and energy.

Meet the TAQADAM startups

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