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Sirb Unites Saudi Arabia's Angel Investors and Entrepreneurs
On March 10, 2013, angel investor network Sirb, in cooperation with Badir Program for Technology Incubators, organized Saudi Arabia’s first investor’s network meeting in Jeddah. Attendants included individual investors as well as a number of entrepreneurs looking for investment opportunities.
First launched almost a year ago in May 2012, an initiative of the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Sirb aims to bridge financial gaps in the market to help good ideas become fully realized projects. The goal is to form a network of entrepreneurs and investors willing to support startup projects and small to medium-sized enterprises.
Members of the network included a union of public and private entities who share this goal, including the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the College of Business Administration (CBA), Dar Al-Hekma College and Badir Program for Technology Incubators.
This first network meeting sought to empowering entrepreneurs and individual investors to communicate together and build sustainable partnerships to develop and build successful technology projects in Saudi Arabia.
Before the first network meeting, a panel of experts evaluated investment opportunities ahead of time, to guarantee the quality and readiness of potential projects, while during the event they offered advice and mentorship to entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurs who pitched came from a variety of backgrounds including information and communications technology, social media and manufacturing.
“Sirb will always make sure to organize investment meetings each quarter to support entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, by inviting major individual investors who have the capital and expertise, and who want to invest in and support small projects to contribute to developing the Kingdom’s economy,” says Nawaf Bin Atif Al Sahhaf, CEO of the Badir Program.
In addition to investment meetings, Sirb offers the following services:
- a payment gateway for communication between individual investors and entrepreneurs
- access for entrepreneurs to a database of individual investors
- the ability for individual investors to showcase projects and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.
- training workshops where individual investors to evaluate and choose investment opportunities
- workshops for entrepreneurs that train in business planning and pitching to investors.
“The event was very positive; it gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their ideas for a potential investment and to communicate with them in order to build successful partnerships and develop technology projects in the Kingdom,” explains Hisham Khaled Rouaihi, the CEO of Sirb.
For more on Sirb and future events, visit their website here.
Ahmed is a writer and a tech analyst, passionate about technology and electronics. He is the founder of GadgetsArabia, the first tech blog in Arabic and the Editor-in-Chief of Swalif.Net. You can follow him on Twitter @ahmdgabr or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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