Two KAUST startups are finalists in the 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), the world’s largest global pitch competition that has supported more than 300,000 entrepreneurs from 200 different countries. Qualifying from the Saudi national finals on October 18, 2021, two KAUST startups will take the stage in the pitch competition on November 17 – 18, 2021 in Riyad, competing for one million (USD) in prize money.
Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been rapidly advancing in line with the country’s ambition to transform into a digital, knowledge-based economy. This new era that embraces new technology and sustainability, has young entrepreneurs leading the charge through innovative startups looking to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues including food, water, energy, and the environment. With support from KAUST, this year’s EWC finalists will have the chance to showcase their innovative technology to the world.
“We are delighted to see these KAUST startups recognized on a global stage for their impact in the Kingdom. At KAUST we’re committed to growing Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, a key part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to diversify the economy,” said Dr Kevin Cullen, Vice President of KAUST Innovation.
This year’s batch of participating KAUST startups include early-stage first place winner of 200,000 SAR KAUST spin-in startup Natufia, developers of the world’s first smart indoor kitchen garden, and early-stage second place winner of 150,000 SAR TAQADAM grad Logexa, providers of an on-demand warehousing service platform. Historically, KAUST startups have had great success in this prestigious international competition with Red Sea Farms winning third place at the 2019 world cup.
The EWC accepts founders and entrepreneurs from all over the world. These participants have a chance to pitch their startup mission and ideas during national finals in different cities across the globe. Finalists are then qualified to pitch at the global finals in Riyadh in hopes of winning their share of a one million dollar prize, make connections, and hone their ideas.
As a partner of the EWC with Misk for the third year, KAUST plays a key role in nurturing these startup programs through student development and training, global research partnerships, and ultimately commercialization. Together, KAUST and Misk have a shared objective of attracting cutting-edge technologies across all industries and top talent to Saudi Arabia to empower and support Saudi-based startups. Additionally, the Misk Foundationsupports Saudi youth by providing them a chance to advance their ideas at the annual EWC.
KAUST continues to advance technological innovation and nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem to drive real economic transformation in Saudi Arabia. Over 100 startup companies have graduated from KAUST’s award-winning accelerator programs, including TAQADAM and 9/10ths. Their work to address climate, food, and energy challenges benefit both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world with a more rigorous economy and sustainable future.