• Semifinalist teams of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition and MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Startup Competition will receive intensive 3-day training offered by KAUST mentors and innovation experts in Saudi Arabia.
  • The 13th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is held with Community Jameel as ‘Main Partner’, Hub71 as ‘Main Partner’, and KAUST as ‘Innovation Partner’
  • The 4th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia is held with King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) as ‘Strategic Partner’ and KAUST as ‘Innovation Partner’
  • Semifinalist teams will receive tailored training as per the track they applied for: Startups Track, Ideas Track, and Social Entrepreneurship Track


Thuwal, Saudi Arabia | February 3, 2020: KAUST will host an intensive training bootcamp for over 100 semifinalist startups in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, on March 1-3. Over the course of three days, semifinalists of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition and MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Startup Competition will undertake a bootcamp training, focusing on pitching skills, business model canvas, design thinking, and more.

The semifinalist teams who are in the official line up for the 13th edition of MITEF Arab Startup Competition were publicly announced on January 14, 2020 here. The semifinalists who are in the official line up for the 4th edition of MITEF Saudi Startup Competition are announced here.

The final round of judging for MITEF Saudi Startup Competition will happen in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on March 7, afterwards the winners will join the finalists of the MITEF Arab Startup Competition and go through a final round of judging on April 8 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Semifinalist teams will compete to win equity-free cash prizes, mentorship opportunities, top-tier training, as well as networking with MENA investors and media.

Each team will receive a tailored training experience based on the track they applied for (either Startups Track, Ideas Track, or Social Entrepreneurship Track). The official breakdown of the schedule will be announced at a later stage on MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab’s blog.

With support from KAUST Entrepreneurship Center and other industry experts, the semifinalist teams will learn tips and tricks on how to perfect their pitch to secure potential investment funding and partnerships. During the bootcamp, the semifinalist teams will learn from 40+ mentors from various backgrounds, industries, and expertise, and receive honest and transparent feedback on their pitch decks, presentation skills, and value proposition to help prepare them for the regional finals in April 2020.

Moreover, members from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will give a session titled ‘How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea’ on developing the perfect pitch to launch a startup during the third day of the bootcamp

The bootcamp training will be given by the following experts, among others:


  • Amal Dokhan – CEO Global Entrepreneurship Network GEN Saudi at GEN Global
  • Ozan Sonmez – Accelerator Program and Network Design Senior Expert at UNDP
  • Leena AlOlaimy – Cofounder of 3BL Associates
  • Reem Khouri – Cofounder & CEO of Whyise, Founding Partner of Kaamen
  • Raed Madanat – Senior Technical Manager at Al Jidara


The 13th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition is held in partnership with Community Jameel (Main Partner), Hub71 (Main Partner) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Innovation Partner). The 4th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Startup Competition is held in partnership with King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) as Strategic Partner and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Innovation Partner)

Commenting on the announcement, Maya Rahal, Managing Director of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab said: The bootcamp will offer this year’s Arab Startup Competition semifinalist teams unprecedented access to top-tier training, preparing them to face the judges a month later. Over the past 12 years, the bootcamp constituted an essential element of the competition, one which brings 50 of the best MENA entrepreneurs together to directly learn from each other and benefit from the expertise of the researchers, investors, trainers, and mentors. This year’s bootcamp at KAUST, our Innovation Partner, joins for the first time both the Pan Arab and Saudi chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum, marking a new milestone in the competition’s history. I want to thank our founding partners Community Jameel for their ongoing trust and faith in this region’s youth ability to Lead for a Better World.

Adding to the announcement is KAUST Innovation & Economic Development Vice President, Dr. Kevin Cullen: “We are excited to partner with MITEF Pan Arab and Saudi – one of the most prominent and established entrepreneurship programs that has graduated some of the top startups in the region. Working together, this year we expect to support over 100 startups and offer them insight into the Saudi Arabian entrepreneurship ecosystem where they will discover the support KAUST offers to entrepreneurs from across the Middle East through training, mentorship and access to funding and investor networks.”

Moreover, Bayan Abdullah Algamdi, Head of Entrepreneurship Programs and MITEF Saudi added: “The bootcamp training is an important preparatory phase for the competitors to increase their chances of winning and their excellence in presenting their projects to the judges in the next phases. We would like, on this occasion, to thank all our partners, especially King Abdullah Economic City and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for their continuous support in motivating entrepreneurs and their innovation in Saudi Arabia and the Arab World.”

The new partnerships highlight the leading role the competition has been playing over the course of 13 years in supporting entrepreneurship, fostering a culture of innovation, and creating lanes for collaboration between corporations and startups.

The impact of the Arab Startup Competition over the past 13 years:


  • MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab trained and empowered more than 2,400 Arab entrepreneurs
  • A total of 430 startups were established across the MENA
  • Increase in the percentage of submitted applications between 1st and 12th edition: 302%
  • 51% of all the semi-finalists teams had at least 1 female leading member
  • Winners received a sum of USD 1,240,000 in equity-free investment


Stay tuned for future updates and announcements #ASC2020 #MITEFArab #MITEFSaudi #MITEFxKAUST