Counting Down to the TAQADAM Startup Accelerator Showcase — and the Future of Entrepreneurship in MENA

Counting Down to the TAQADAM Startup Accelerator Showcase — and the Future of Entrepreneurship in MENA

It’s the event that redefines entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and beyond — and, year after year, continues to raise the bar on creativity, innovation and technology. And this year is no exception.

The 2022 TAQADAM Startup Accelerator Showcase is happening on March 10, 2022 and, this year, this live, hybrid event will welcome thousands from around the globe. Fifty-eight founders representing 23 startups will share their work with the world — including fellow entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders, all descending on KAUST for a front-row seat to the future of innovation.

Preparing for the 2022 showcase

TAQADAM is now the biggest accelerator in MENA, and this year’s showcase event draws some of the world’s most prolific investors, influencers and innovators, each here to get a sneak peek at what comes next — and what TAQADAM founders have been working on over the last six months.

After joining the cohort in August 2021, founders participated in the six-month accelerator, with an eye on evolving and enhancing their businesses. With startups spanning sustainability, fintech, food systems, healthcare, education and consumer services — and founders joining from ten countries — this cohort was the most diverse in the program’s seven-year history.

At the start of the TAQADAM program, each startup received $40,000 in funding plus access to co-working spaces throughout Saudi Arabia.

Through mentorships, targeted workshops and targeted networking, startup teams worked through the challenges facing modern entrepreneurs (and the challenge of another COVID year), building a comprehensive toolbox that will power their businesses now and in the future. As the final piece of this year’s program, select TAQADAM founders will showcase their startups on the world stage.

This year’s theme, “Tomorrow, Harmonized,” acknowledges these founders’ unique journeys and, specifically, their ability to apply entrepreneurial thinking to unify the noise that surrounds and, from it, create meaningful solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges.

The impact of TAQADAM’s accelerator showcase

Following the pitches, 10 startups will each receive $100,000 in follow-on funding. An 11th startup selected by audience members and virtual participants will also receive $100,000.

In previous years, many high-performing TAQADAM graduates have gone on to raise significant funding and have some have joined the KAUST Technology Park, continuing to grow and evolve their businesses in partnership with KAUST — and we anticipate 2022 being no exception.

Like TAQADAM and the accelerator showcase, KAUST has quickly become the deep tech epicenter of Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, supporting and enriching entrepreneurship, research and technological advances here and beyond. This, too, ladders up to KAUST’s continued commitment to Saudi Vision 2030 and its push to grow and diversify the economy, boost employment and promote social responsibility and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.

The first step, though: experiencing the unparalleled innovation and excellence emerging from the latest TAQADAM cohort. Be part of this exhilarating experience — register now for a free virtual pass to the showcase accelerator on March 10. Not only will you have an opportunity to watch founders present live, but you’ll be able to choose your favorite startup, improving their chances of receiving $100,000 live, at the close of the showcase.