Why Accelerators are Here to Stay: KAUST’s Startup Ecosystem Providing Life-Long Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Accelerators have tremendous ‘real-life’ educational value these days, especially in regions of the world where angel investing is uncommon and the venture capital scene is still emerging.

KAUST Innovation’s Entrepreneurship Center has a successful track record in developing and launching accelerator programs such as Hikma and the New Ventures Accelerator programs.

For example, UBI Global recognizes top performing business incubators or accelerators and recently named the Center as one of the four high impact programs in the Middle East and North Africa.

Accelerators provide attendees with valuable revenue-generating models, combining entrepreneur education and collaborative work spaces. More importantly, they are providing Saudi students with a ‘hands-on’ understanding of customer acquisition, the realities of the local market and testing/prototyping that is often not received in traditional classrooms.

Corporations are also getting into the accelerator game by providing various grant and equity schemes to establish early relationships with the best and brightest.

While many startups are doomed to fail, creating a culture of entrepreneurship and calculated risk taking is important to the development of technology and innovation in Saudi Arabia and the region.

While not every accelerator attendee is going to become a millionaire, they will learn life-long lessons that will very likely contribute to future success.

KAUST Startup Accelerator Showcase

On March 10, approximately 10 startups from a variety of sectors, including renewable energy and life sciences, will pitch in the KAUST Startup Accelerator Showcase.

These startups have benefited from KAUST’s accelerator programs and its startup ecosystem. A number of teams already have successful business models and are actively selling their goods and/or services in a variety of different markets.

Their success stories are highlighting how KAUST is making a difference and solving real-world problems in the Kingdom and region by accelerating both early stage and market ready technologies. Members of the KAUST community can register for this event here.