- Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, has set aside SAR10.2 million ($2.72 million) in Seed grants and loans to six Saudi entrepreneurs during the national roadshow in Jubail to fund the best new startups.
Ever since its creation in 2011, Wa’ed has deployed more than $106 million in VC investment, loans and incubation services into more than 100 Saudi-based startups.
Wa’ed future roadshows will be held in Yanbu, Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah and Makkah and will focus on drones, security technology, reverse engineering, petrochemicals, environmental tech, fintech, supply chains, tourism and hospitality, among other sectors.
Wa’ed has recommended a combined SAR10.2 million in Seed grants and loans to six Saudi entrepreneurs as the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco began a six-city national roadshow in Jubail to fund the best new startups.
Wa’ed’s will also provide the entrepreneurs with incubation services and venture capital investment.
The 2021 Wa’ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow recommended loans be issued to Ahmad Alkhowaiter, the first Saudi producer of a ubiquitous oil and gas drilling compound; Motlaq Almotairy, founder of Saudi’s first radioisotopes firm; and Abdullah Al Otaibi, the founder of a company that converts used cooking oils into biofuels.
Wa’ad also recommended incubation Seed funding grants to Nawaf Alabra, founder of a new-generation B2B platform; Ahmed Abdulmohsen, founder of a business software maker that manages infrastructure, buildings and lighting; and Muhannad Alhamed, founder of a smart home automation solutions maker based on IoT technology.
The recommendations were made before a socially distanced gathering of 50 entrepreneurs, investors and officials at the Al Fanateer Conference Center in Jubail.
Wa’ed roadshows will also be held this year in Yanbu, Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah and Makkah. Wa’ed is selecting Saudi-based entrepreneurs for loans, incubation services and venture capital investment. The roadshows are being hosted by Mohammed Almousa, a Saudi entrepreneur and broadcast presenter for MBC television.
“The startups we recognise tonight in Jubail are part of a new wave of Saudi-based entrepreneurs who are driving economic growth and diversification in the Kingdom,” said Fahad Alidi, the Wa’ed Managing Director.
Created as a wholly-owned venture of Aramco in 2011, Wa’ed has helped drive the growth of the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by deploying more than SAR400 million in VC investment, loans and incubation services into more than 100 Saudi-based startups.
The Jubail roadshow highlighted industrial manufacturing and services and drew entrepreneurs from a range of fields. The event was sponsored by The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, which oversees the Kingdom’s largest industrial zones.
Future roadshows will focus on drones, security technology, reverse engineering, petrochemicals, environmental tech, fintech, supply chains, tourism and hospitality, among other sectors.
“The Royal Commission welcomes the Wa’ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow to Jubail, one of the Kingdom’s most important industrial hubs,” said Mohammed Alzahrani, General Manager for Investment at the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. “The entrepreneurs recognised today are the catalysts of our tomorrow.”
Wa’ed recommended a non-collateral loan be issued to SICCO, a maker of calcium bromide, a ubiquitous compound in oil and gas drilling used to regulate wellbore pressure. SICCO will also be the first domestic producer of this essential product.
Modern Isotopes, the first Saudi company to manufacture, store and dispose of radioisotopes for industrial and healthcare use, was also recommended for a loan, as was Green Energy, a startup that aims to convert waste cooking oil into biofuels.
Wa’ed recommended that e-procure, a B2B platform built on blockchain technology to change how businesses interact, receive an incubation Seed grant. Also recommended AshyaTech, maker of business software to manage infrastructure, streetlights, buildings and facilities, and Home Run, a tech startup providing smart home automation solutions based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Entrepreneurs recommended for loans and incubation support must pass Wa’ed background checks. The next Wa’ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow will be on September 21 in Yanbu.
For more information about the Wa’ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow, see https://waed.net/roadshow.