Entrepreneurship World Cup: Saudi Finalist Faheem

Tutors are always in high-demand – particularly during final exams when finding quality ones can be a frustrating process for students. Founders, Salem Bin Ghanem and Ibrahim Baatiah, of the Faheem application found it extremely challenging themselves to find skilled tutors during their own university examinations which resulted in added stress to the already high-pressure situation.

As a result, the duo set out to research the existing student to tutor situation in Saudi Arabia – especially across the different cities. Finding that there was ample room for improvement to streamline the process, the Faheem app was conceived.

Faheem App connects tutors and students within Saudi Arabia. Students and tutors can connect instantly using the app or the website, as well as make secure bookings in a user-friendly booking system. “The concept came from personal experience,” said co-founder Bin Ghanem. “We saw this as an opportunity to use technology to solve this problem for others,”

“Together we did an exhaustive search to find good tutors,” said co-founder Baatiah.  “In our search, we consulted friends and family, searched the internet and even resorted in turning to put up outdated flyers on the street.” The pair launched the Faheem App as a demo during their university studies and soon took it to new heights with the help of KAUST and TAQADAM accelerator, a program run by KAUST and in partnership with Saudi British Bank (SABB). After the launch in early in 2019, the Faheem App gained significant traction and now functions across two platforms. “When we launched the website, we saw there was a huge demand for such an application – so we took it to the next level.” says co-founder Baatiah.

Faheem App, a Saudi finalist at the Entrepreneurship World Cup

KAUST powers startups through TAQADAM accelerator

Both Bin Ghanem and Baatiah enrolled in the TAQADAM accelerator at KAUST where they received $20k in grant funding to develop their app. The TAQADAM accelerator aims to develop early-stage entrepreneurs and their concepts into new, high-potential startups, and to accelerate the development of the Saudi Arabian startup ecosystem. “TAQADAM provided financial support, expert financial and legal advice as well as authoritative knowledge and entrepreneurial mentorship, which offered training to accelerate Faheem’s development,” said Baatiah. “We were awarded 75,000 SAR in order to market and develop our application by hiring developers to help our platform grow. The mentors we had access to gave our startup a definite advantage and they designed their sessions around our needs with themes like development, project management and pitching to investors.”

Faheem Wins Saudi Finals of Entrepreneurship World Cup

In June 2019, Faheem founders pitched and won the Saudi finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC). “It really was a life-changing experience for us,” says Baatiah. “We gained a lot of positive feedback and experience and we received the opportunity to connect with the government and other startups as well as receiving funding from MISK. Overall, it was an amazing experience, especially considering that we were able to close our investment in such a short period of time.” Faheem is currently competing in the 2019 Entrepreneurship World Cup as one of six Saudi finalists among startups from over 60 countries. It is a valuable opportunity for visibility as Faheem continues to establish itself in the Middle East online tutoring realm.

For Faheem, an intuitive application connecting students with tutors to improve the quality and accessibility of education within Saudi Arabia, the startup has now had exposure to valuable opportunities from the Saudi entrepreneurial ecosystem. Both founders are eager to further develop their startup and solve issues in education across Saudi Arabia. “Now we are continuously utilizing our fund to accelerate and grow while also trying to reach new markets in Saudi Arabia. It was all made possible through the mentorship received through KAUST’s entrepreneurship programs.”

Learn more about the Entrepreneurship World Cup

Learn about TAQADAM accelerator
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