Twenty-four teams from across Saudi Arabia have been nominated for the 9/10ths Startup Accelerator Program, aiming to develop early-stage entrepreneurs and accelerate the development of the Saudi ecosystem.
The teams are set to work with experienced, local and international mentors to conduct customer interviews and develop their business model. Each team will be supported in the production of a prototype and will be given a chance to pitch their idea to potential investors in an open showcase event in Riyadh in May 2017.
Participating teams come from a range of industries including Internet and media, healthcare, financial technologies, consumer products and food.
Entrepreneurs chosen to participate in the second phase of the program have been accepted after undergoing a competitive application process. In February the teams completed the pre-accelerator phase, which included intensive mentorship and resources to both validate and pitch their ideas.
“Although this program has been running for two cohorts, we have seen a magnificent amount of commitment, drive, passion, and hard work from the teams,” said Najla Barasain, developer of the 9/10ths Startup Accelerator Program.
“We believe in Saudi Entrepreneurs and their impact on the economy in the short and long run, and we hope to continue supporting them both on a professional and a personal level.”
“The teams have progressed within a short period of time, with strong levels of commitment. Their enthusiasm and dedication is impressive and we look forward to seeing very positive results from their efforts’, said Hattan Ahmed, KAUST entrepreneurship collaboration manager.
“9/10ths and KAUST have arranged the perfect environment for us to have a positive impact on our economy,” said Ahmad Al-Rasheed, program participant and founder of Shoghol.
The 9/10ths Startup Accelerator program is one of HRDF’s initiatives, and is run in partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
The next cohort of the program will take place in Autumn 2017.
Feature image via KAUST.