Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes is coming to the Kingdom for the first time, to hold four events. The three-day intensive bootcamps, organized in partnership with the MiSK Innovation, include closed-door mentoring sessions, exciting themed panels and dynamic pitching sessions.
- 13-15 September - Dammam. Applications open until September 10th
- 20-22 September - Abha. Applications open until September 13th
- 27-29 September - Jeddah. Applications open until September 15th
- 4-7 October - Riyadh. Applications open until September 23rd
After a careful screening, the Seedstars team will shortlist up to 15 of the best seed-stage startups in each city to participate in the bootcamps, where they will be mentored by top-notch local and global experts in growth, pitching and acquisition channels.
The third day of the event will be open to the public, where the selected startups will give a three-minute pitch in English, followed by a five-minute Q&A session with the jury. The third day of each event will also feature panel discussions and keynotes on top trends in technology and entrepreneurship.
The top-two startups from each event will participate in the Seedstars World Saudi Arabia finals in Riyadh. The top-four in the finals will be awarded cash prizes of up to 100,000 SAR and will be invited to an all-inclusive trip to Lausanne, for the Seedstars Summit, as part of the Saudi delegation. The winner at Riyadh will be representing the Kingdom in the global arena in Switzerland.
The companies selected to pitch at any of the events need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than $500,000 in funding and built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: the startup’s regional and global scalability.
With a strong network of international partners, such as Merck, SPECo, Enel or Continental (amongst others), the competition organizers are looking for smart startups that tackle regional issues and develop profitable and sustainable products for the global market.
“At Seedstars, we believe talent and good ideas are everywhere. We see ourselves as a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs in places where normally people wouldn’t think startup ecosystem have such traction, growth and buzz. We are very excited to be in the Saudi Arabia highlighting such a bustling entrepreneurship ecosystem and we are here to witness the reality”, explains Meghan Warner, Regional Manager for MENA at Seedstars, “We are also experts in identifying which companies to pull through and how. We’re impressed by what we have seen in the region so far and cannot wait to add Saudi startups to our map!”
It’s Seedstars’ goal to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, especially those targeting solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals. With that in mind, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage startups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over USD 92M collectively, providing employment to more than 2.100 employees worldwide.