Six winners announced at Saudi's first MITEF competition

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B8ak, an application for home maintenance has won first place in the ‘Startups Track’ at Saudi Arabia’s first MIT Enterprise Forum competition.

They took home a prize of 100,000 Saudi riyals (around USD 26,000).

In total there were three winners out of 18 finalists.

The winning teams posing for a group photo. (Image via Community Jameel)

Artistia, a social marketplace for designers took second place with 50,000 riyals (around $13,000) and rock - paper - scissors, a gaming educational initiative for children, won third place with 25,000 riyals (around $6,000).

Every Drop Counts, a project that helps companies and individuals measure and reduce their water consumption, won first place in the Ideas track and 20,000 riyals (around $5,000); Re Braille, an initiative aiming to help blind people type, took second place with 15,000 riyals (around $4,000) and Kool Snack for producing healthy products from natural ingredients, took third place and 10,000 riyals (around $2,500).  

The final awards ceremony was held in Dar Hussein Jameel, Jeddah, on January 16.

“In addition to the size of the Saudi market, its strategic positioning and investment-friendly traits, the kingdom will be witnessing a new era that will activate the role of the private sector and enhance governmental performance,” said the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors SAGIA, Abdullatif Al-Othman, in a press release.

All the finalists had the chance to attend StartSmart, a program produced by MIT Enterprise Forum, to offer workshops and programs that help participants acquire the needed skills to take their projects to the next level.

The event was sponsored by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and organized in partnership with Bab Rizq Jameel.

The program invited 20 local and international speakers, such as Kathleen Kennedy, president of MIT Technology Review and MIT Enterprise Forum; Tuba Terekli, CEO at Qotuf Al Riyadah; Raad Al-Saady, senior managing director at Abdul Latif Jameel, and Mudassir Sheikha from Careem. Among the topics discussed were how to empower entrepreneurship in the kingdom and a look back at worldwide tech trends in 2015.

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