What are you looking for?
1. Can a team of 1 member only apply to the competition?
No, each team should have two or more members, with at least one member holding a Saudi nationality.
2. Is there an age range for applicants?
Entrepreneurs of all ages may apply. If selected as a semifinalist, applicants who are under the age of 18 might need a legal guardian to travel with them. StartSmart Competition will not cover the cost of travel of the guardian.
3. Can I apply with two different startups/Ideas?
No, each team/entrepreneur is only allowed one entry.
4. Can I apply to two tracks at the same time?
No, you may only apply to the track that is most relevant to you. StartSmart Competition team reserves the right to place you on a different track than what you have selected if deemed more suitable.
5. Can a registered startup with no user traction/sales apply to the Startups Track?
No, a registered startup with no user traction/sales cannot apply to the Startups Track. The Ideas Track is the most suitable for such cases.
6. If my startup is not registered in Saudi Arabia, can I still apply?
No, only startups registered in Saudi Arabia are eligible to apply.
7. How does StartSmart Competition guarantee the confidentiality of my idea/project?
Any information provided by the teams will not be shared with any third party without the consent and approval of the concerned team.
8. Does StartSmart Competition own my idea after applying to the competition?
No, StartSmart Competition does not claim any proprietary rights over the initiatives, technologies, or ideas that are submitted to the competition. All ideas and technologies are the sole property of the submitters.
9. Does StartSmart Competition take equity in the winning startups?
The winners of the competition are granted equity-free prize money; hence StartSmart Competition does not have any ownership entitlement to the startup.
10. How many teams get to the semifinals?
The number of teams that get to the semifinals is sixty (60) from the 4 tracks - Startups, Ideas, Social Entrepreneurship, and Environment.
11. When and how are the semifinalists announced?
The semi-finalists are usually announced a few weeks after the application deadline. They are announced on the competition website and the selected teams are also notified by email.
12. What are the next steps after being selected as a semifinalist?
The next step after being selected as a semifinalist is to attend a boot camp, where you will receive training and mentoring to help you prepare for the second judging round.

The program starts with a 3-day intensive training designed by StartSmart Competitions with partnering institutions. After which, the teams will pitch in front of the Round 2 judging where the 36 finalist teams will be selected. The 36 Finalists will undergo a one-month journey of mentorship.

Selected finalists’ teams will participate in a total of a 2-day event in the host city. They will in turn pitch to the Round 3 judges who will select the final 12 winners of the competition. The judges of each round will be from different professional backgrounds.

The Exhibitions Booth and the final conference will provide the teams with activities where they get the chance to network with professionals and investors.

13. What is Bootcamp? And who should attend from the team?
The Bootcamp is an intensive 3-day training program designed to bootstrap teams for the second judging rounds. Participation is mandatory for at least 1 member from the founding or management team of the startup.
14. If a team is selected as a finalist, who covers the expenses of the teams?
StartSmart Competition covers the expenses of the finalist teams for up to 2 members per team. The travel expenses covered include flight tickets, accommodation, and transportation from/to the venue (if needed).
15. What happens during the final event? And who should attend from the team?
All finalist teams will get booths to exhibit their projects/startups during the final event. Winners will be announced by the end of the event.

Participation is mandatory for at least 1 member of the founding team.

16. Can all team members attend the boot camp, final event, and awards ceremony?
Yes, they can. However, StartSmart Competition only covers expenses for up to 2 members per team.

Attendance at the boot camp, final event, and awards ceremony is mandatory for at least one team member from the founding team.

17. Can a semifinalist or finalist startup/idea apply 2 or more years in a row to the competition?
Yes, a semifinalist or finalist startup/idea can apply for 2 or more years in a row to the competition.
18. Can a semifinalist team be disqualified from the competition?
If a participating team does not respect the rules of the competition and is not responsive to the StartSmart Competition team over some time, or if a team member is behaving in an unprofessional and disturbing manner, StartSmart Competition reserves the right to disqualify the team from the competition without prior notice.
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