King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will partner with Misk Global Forum, for the second year in a row, to organize the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), the largest and most diverse competition to support entrepreneurship in the world.
KAUST hosted a training camp for the finalists before the qualifications, which will be held virtually between October 18 and 20, as part of the annual gathering of the Misk Global Forum.
This year’s edition attracted 15,000 Saudi entrepreneurs, 15 of whom were chosen to virtually pitch their projects at the Saudi National Finals, held on September 07.
The jury selected six companies to participate in the global finals. The top three finalists will automatically proceed to the finals, while the remaining three will compete with the other international semi-finalists, and the winning startups will receive a cash prize of $50,000.
The winners of the Saudi finals will join the “EWC 100” to participate in the Global Finals. The EWC 100 were selected from the winners of 65 virtual National Finals events that have taken place around the world.
They will compete for the chance to win cash prizes totaling $1 million plus additional investment opportunities and another $75 millions of in-kind support at the finals.
KAUST plays an important role in this global event, as it participated in the Saudi jury, and will be part of the global finals’ jury. It will also hold a series of workshops and seminars.
KAUST Entrepreneurship Center also hosted, for the second year in a row, a virtual boot camp from September 27 to 28 to prepare the finalists, help them expand their networks, refine their entrepreneurial skills, and present their projects to investors.
Head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, Hattan Ahmed, said that the world today is going through a period of uncertainty, and global economies are moving rapidly towards the digital age.
Ahmed asserted that young entrepreneurs must lead the change through the innovation of technologies, and their pioneering potentials in creating influential projects.
He described KAUST as the “natural partner” of the EWC 2020, adding that both organizations share the mutual global ambition of attracting tech startups, premier global talent and the building of a global funnel in which Saudi Arabia can serve as an eminent hub for entrepreneurship.
Abdulrahman al-Suhaymi, head of the EWC and entrepreneurship programs at Misk, asserted that the EWC team is so glad that KAUST is so deeply involved again.
He indicated that KAUST shares the same view that young people are the greatest asset for overcoming the challenge of change, adding that its world-leading expertise will help global finalists achieve their potential, within a supportive and dynamic environment that values cooperation, partnership and interest in society as much as encouraging it to compete.
In 2019, six startups from KAUST's entrepreneurship programs were among the finalists of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, including: Sadeem, Faheem, Cura, Dhad, UnitX, and Red Sea Farms, which won third place and signed a cooperation agreement with the Kirchner Group.