Set your team up for success

REVelate Corporate Innovation Program

The REVelate Corporate Innovation Program (CIP) is an intense three-day, team-based program designed to support new innovation by organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The program is delivered in KAUST and has been used by a variety of organizations medium-to-large companies, nonprofits and government agencies. The CIP combines elements of innovation, new internal venture creation, team development, business model development and executive education. It is part of a series of REVelate offerings which include bespoke courses for a variety of organizational needs including design thinking, change management and entrepreneurship.

Application deadline: 19 November 2017

Event will be held on 21-23 November 2017

Why attend REVelate?

  • Learn about a variety of cutting-edge ideas in innovation, creativity and intrapreneurship
  • Accelerate new products or services
  • Find breakaway solutions to old problems
  • Explore new potential markets
  • Promote team building and develop skills like financial analysis and design thinking
  • Grow revenue and profitability
  • Create strategies to ward off incoming threats
  • Improve internal processes

REVelate Corporate Innovation Program

REVelate is a series of organizational training offerings, that is a key part of the KAUST Innovation Academy. These programs include specially designed offerings for students, university staff and faculty, corporates, SME’s and nonprofits including government. These offerings are often redesigned with the needs of the client in mind. For more information please ask about our programs:

The REVelate Corporate Innovation Program is the flagship offering, which is delivered in KAUST twice a year. It is a three-day team-based innovation module designed to help a wide variety of organizations in the Kingdom, including corporates, government agencies and large nonprofits, apply innovation methodologies and entrepreneurship techniques within their corporate environments to improve efficiencies and increase competitiveness.

REVelate is delivered by the internationally qualified KAUST Entrepreneurship Center staff, as well as a number of highly experienced international mentors and practitioners from around the globe.

The program combines elements of internal venture creation, team development, business model development, incubation of new project ideas and executive education, delivered in a combination of:

• Short lectures on best practices, including examples of the latest trends from around the world.

• Team-based idea development workshops.

Although team-based, the individual participants will also gain considerable professional and personal development, as they become exposed to a variety of cutting-edge ideas in innovation, creativity, design thinking and intrapreneurship.

KAUST Innovation Academy Staff

Gordon McConnell, Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship

As Head of the Entrepreneurship Center in KAUST since May 2014, Gordon has grown the activities of the center including the development of Teaching & Learning programs, startup accelerators such as the HIKMA IP-based and the REVelate corporate innovation program.

Prior to Saudi Arabia, he was Associate Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, Principal Investigator of the ASU Center of Excellence in Technology Transfer, which was funded by the US department of defense, and an Assistant Professor of Practice. During his time in ASU, his group was ranked in the top 10 in the US for university incubators according to the UBI Global Index. While in ASU he developed several new innovation initiatives including the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator, which won the U.S. award for Most Promising Technology Based Economic Development in 2013.

Previously Gordon was Deputy CEO of the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship in Ireland where he developed new programs such as the Business Innovation Program (accredited) in 2011 and was the founder of the Propeller startup accelerator in 2010. Before the Ryan Academy, he spent several years as chief of staff to the President of Dublin City University and was architect of two of the university’s strategic plans. He was a co-founder of two funded start-up companies also worked in a number of industry management roles including Westinghouse and the strategy practice of Accenture.

He has developed and taught entrepreneurship and management curriculum in a number of colleges and universities and is a mentor to a number of startup companies in the US and Ireland. McConnell was awarded the title of Arizona Tech Titan in 2014 by the Arizona Business Journal and an Award for Excellence from KAUST in 2015. He has spoken at a number of leading conferences in the US, Canada, Russia, and Saudi Arabia including at the Kauffman Foundation, the AUTM Annual Conference and the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC).

Education: Gordon received a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Masters in Business Studies (MBS) from the National University of Ireland, and an Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management.

Abdulrahman AlJiffry, New Ventures Associate, KAUST Entrepreneurship Center

Abdulrahman AlJiffry supports a diverse portfolio of technology startups ranging from consumer electronics to education to clean tech. He helped found KAUST’s first accelerator program during the early days of the Entrepreneurship Center and supported other entrepreneurial efforts at the university. KAUST was named the best higher education institution in the Arab world supporting entrepreneurship at the 3rd Global Entrepreneurship Summit in December 2012—only 18 months after founding the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center. During his time at KAUST, Abdulrahman created several initiatives that are at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship including the Technology Angel Summit and the Graduate Business Workshop. Before joining KAUST, Abdulrahman worked at Prince Sultan College where he was responsible for the institution’s academic assessments and accreditation. Abdulrahman received his BSc in Industrial Systems Engineering from King Abdulaziz University and his MBA from AlFaisal University.

Hattan Ahmed, Entrepreneurship Collaboration Manager, KAUST Entrepreneurship Center

Hattan manages a number of cross-organizational initiatives and programs between KAUST and ecosystem players. He manages the 910th Accelerator Program funded by Takamol and managed by KASUT Entrepreneurship Center. Hattan oversees the impact of the Entrepreneurship Center by monitoring and reporting the Key Performance Indicators internally and externally to University Business Incubators. Hattan is leading a research project to assess the Saudi Startups’ economic impact. He is mentoring many startups in different industries among different programs.

Prior joining KAUST EC, Hattan worked at the research funding office at KAUST overseeing wide research portfolio and exploring entrepreneurial and commercialization opportunities. He assessed the research portfolio impact in collaboration with Thomson Reuters.  He also conducts studies analyzing the applied research needs in the local market.

Hattan had couple of full cycle entrepreneurial experiences from foundation to exit in Saudi Arabia for three years prior joining KAUST.  He won couple of international entrepreneurial awards.  Hattan had six years of experience in Saudi Aramco and working closely with Siemens AG and Honeywell.  He has Information Technology (IT) background in system design, development and implementation in different industries ranging from oil and gas, travel to retail.

He managed significant national projects introducing the automation system for the refined products distribution plants in the Eastern and Central regions in Saudi Arabia.  Hattan started his career in software development on key platforms such as SAP and SharePoint and conducted business analysis projects. Hattan introduced the Six Sigma project to Saudi Aramco in 2002 and completed a full study on its impact and implementation plan.

Education: Hattan holds an MBA degree from University of Leeds and a BS degree in Computer Science from University of Alabama.

REVelate International Mentors

Brian Hayes, Founder of RDiL (Research, Development, Innovation and Learning) Labs, Enterprise Innovation Advisor (Dublin City University) and Chair of GRC Technology Center

Brian Hayes was Managing Director of Citibank Europe plc (CEP) from 2000 until the end of 2013. He was the architect and founder of Citi’s first innovation lab (originally named RDiL) and was a member of Citi’s Global Innovation Council based in New York. During his time at Citi, he had extensive senior P+L leadership roles as Treasurer, Senior Corporate Finance Officer and as MD of the Global Transaction Services businesses. Following his departure from Citi, he set up RDiL Labs at the DCU (Dublin City University) Innovation Campus. RDiL works with a number of startup companies who are looking to develop and scale new technologies. Brian also undertakes various innovation projects, business consulting, senior executive coaching and training programs as well as working closely with DCU as an enterprise innovation advisor. He was Chairman of the DCU Educational Trust (the funding body for the university) for 8 years. He was appointed by the Irish Government to an advisory board tasked with prioritizing state funding for research and he also chairs a Government-funded governance, risk and compliance technology center. He is a member of the US-based Keiretsu angel network which funds new ventures. Brian has an MSc in Investment and Treasury (MIT) from DCU, C. Dip A.F. from the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and is an IIMR associate. He also lectured on the MIT program for number of years. Functional Areas: sales, product management, operations, business modeling, startups and innovation, with specific experience also in banking and financial services, financial technology, service industries, new ventures (cross-industry).

John Eager, CEO and Founder, WinAbu Consulting, Ireland

On qualifying as an accountant in 1994, his first assignment was in the dynamic growth-by-acquisition Adare PLC. He followed this with a long period as finance professional and project manager in the emerging Irish technology sector, in both bootstrapped and funded companies. He managed startups and spinouts, raised equity and developed and appraised business plans for small Irish technology companies. Moving back to Adare in 2001, he was responsible for IT across the group and managed several internal corporate ventures using the Internet and new software to build customer solutions. He served two periods as Interim Finance Director in crisis situations in large subsidiaries of the group. He worked there until the group’s trade-sale and successful exit from MBO in 2006. Since 2006, John has been involved directly in solving problems. He joined, and led as Interim MD, the post-receivership rescue of the well-known publication Buy&Sell in 2009, resetting its business model for the Recession. In 2010, he was appointed CEO of Snap, the national print franchise, to lead the long-term turnaround of the network of franchises. This included the successful acquisition of a leading website services company to complement the move into online. John has lectured widely including at the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship in Ireland. He is a Chartered Accountant, a member of the Chartered Accountants Interim Managers group and has an MBA from the University of New Hampshire in the US (2009).

Jim Kelly, Principal/Founder of Jim Kelly Innovation Services

Jim has comprehensive experience in leading complex innovation programmes including – product/service development, business development, new revenue streams, market influencing, training design and delivery, advanced technology transfer, and executive education.  He has worked with and helped start-ups, SMEs, multi-national corporations and universities.

Recently as Head of Innovation Enablement at Accenture, he helped establish the world’s biggest consulting firm’s first Global Center for Innovation.  From 2010 he designed, implemented and embedded the innovation system for Citibank’s first innovation lab and was responsible for the transaction services business, payments and receivables innovation portfolio.  At Citibank Jim conceived, prototyped, developed and launched new and enhanced products and services realizing significant new revenue.

While at Intel for over 15 years Jim co-founded the Intel Innovation Lab and conceived, designed and established Intel’s global Systemic Innovation Program.  He has designed and delivered executive innovation education and consultancy with a wide range of clients including start-ups, Small & Medium Enterprises as well as large multi-national corporations. This includes work on Innovation Strategy, Business Model Design, Lean Start-up, Design Thinking and Scale-up actions.

Following Accenture, he has set up Jim Kelly Innovation Services, where he works with and mentors organisations big and small.  Jim helps organisations right size their innovation strategy and system to deliver growth.

Education:   Jim has MSc. IT in Education and BA/BAI Electronic Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Functional Areas:  Strategy formulation and implementation, innovation systems, product development, business development and business modeling.  With specific experience in Financial Services, High-Tech and has as an innovation consultant has worked across a broad range of industries including: Automotive, Forestry, Green Energy, Government Agencies, Postal Services and Fin Tech.

KAUST Internal Mentors

Nikos Tsorpatzidis, Lead Mentor-in-Residence, KAUST Entrepreneurship Center

Nikos has been providing strategic guidance and operational support to technological start -ups originating from Kaust since December 2014 as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He recently joined EC as Lead Mentor to the growing number of start-ups hosted/guided/nurtured by the Center. Nikos is a serial entrepreneur. He is the owner and CEO of two market leaders in Greece in the printing sector namely Easyprint and Ecostar.

He has started up and CEO’d Chiron Gmbh in Germany which specialized in the Medical Clinik consultancy in the nineties and held executive positions in Trick film Studios a market leader in production and distribution of films and TV commercials in the eighties. Other start up companies he has worked on includes the Star-fashion S.A. in textile, and advertising SYN S.A. He has also worked as an SAP consultant specializing in Finance, Cost Management, and Human Resources in major projects for global companies such as Siemens, Wind Telecommunications, and British American Tobacco.

Nikos received a Bachelor of Science in Business management (BSc.) from the University of Maryland and he is a certified SAP consultant for FI/CO and HR.

Omar Khasawneh, Business Development Specialist, KAUST Industry & Corporate Engagement

Omar is a Business Development Specialist in KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department. In this role, since 2014, Omar has worked on attracting local and international companies to collaborate with KAUST and relocate, if appropriate, to KAUST Research and Technology Park. Omar has a special focus on developing and attracting Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMES) as a major catalyst to Saudi Arabia economic diversification. Omar works on making KAUST offering more competitive to SMEs.

Prior to joining KAUST, Omar worked as an associate in GBA Equity Partners, a small investment firm focused on acquiring small and mid-market private companies in Vancouver Regional Area – Canada. Before that, Omar worked in different capacities (business consultant, product manager, and systems engineer) with big corporates as well as young startups. He worked for Nokia where he helped the integration team ship Nokia’s N96 phone, one of Nokia’s biggest successes, to the world. His startup experience includes leading the team Younivate; the startup that built the first mobile phone fully designed and manufactured in the Middle East.

Omar holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station. He is a PMP certified project manager, and he has an Executive Certificate in Product Management from Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Nawaf Algain, Development Relations Manager, University Development at KAUST

As part of the KAUST management team, Nawaf brings a wealth of experience in empowering many of KAUST’s development initiatives, in addition to his role with KAUST’s Entrepreneurship Center. He achieves this through structuring key relationships with business community at large. He is involved in KAUST’s ambitious start-up accelerator programs TAQADAM and Takamol 9/10ths.

With over 15 years of exceptional track record in both public and private sectors, he has been involved in driving business excellence, spearheading planned initiatives, as well as top-tier relationship management across diverse sectors.

Nawaf has had several leadership roles after starting his career in investment banking, managing several key portfolios valued over 1.5bil SAR as well as managing key investor relationships. He later joined the Saudi General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and was one of the founding members in the development of Economic Cities Authority.

He later joined General Electric (GE) heading and managing their indirect offset program for Saudi, UAE and Bahrain, with a strategic focus and aim to invest tech transfer and knowledge based industries. Combining his core competencies and entrepreneurial drive he has also founded various start-ups in areas of technology, real estate, franchising, food and hospitality. His last start up was Beemkan, a crowd-funding platform for creative industries in the GCC.

Education:  Nawaf holds B.A in Political Sciences with additional emphasis on Economics and Power Transition from Portland State University. He also participated in executive programs from MIT, Sandhurst Military Academy, and Columbia University.

To attend the REVelate program, please fill the application form below with your team’s information. We will then contact you to complete the registration.

  • Participants should come in teams of 3 to 8 members.
  • Teams should come with an internal project around a new product, service or process improvement, for use during the workshop sessions.

Tuition fees

  • $ 7,000 is the total price for a team of three participants for three days
  • These costs include all program materials, food and beverages for participants for three days.
  • This also includes limited availability for rooms in the KAUST Inn, which are complimentary for 3 nights.
  • We encourage early registration to ensure room availability.

Participants are required to come in teams of at least three members of the same company. Please note that the above tuition fee is based on the price of a team of three participants. The tuition fee for each additional participant is $1,000. The average team size has been 4-6 people.

Registered KAUST industry partners have access to preferential pricing


Tuition fees include all program materials, food and beverage for a full team for three days and a three-night stay at the KAUST Inn (limited availability). Please apply early to ensure room availability



An inspiring program that guides you through transforming your idea into a well-designed pitch and business plan.”

– REVelate participant

“The program changes the way you think on a day-to-day basis. It is very thought provoking and intellectually stimulating, as it encourages you to think outside the box.”

– REVelate participant

Need management approval?

We prepared a justification letter that you can present to your boss to assist in gaining approval to attend the program.

Haven’t found the right idea to use in REVelate?

We also offer a one-day ideation module before the program to help source fresh concepts than can be developed into impactful projects.