Judges choose 45 from 2,500 entries


Jeddah – Saudi Arabia, January 18, 2018: The 45 semi-finalists for the 2018 MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Saudi Arabia Startup competition have been chosen from more than 2,500 entries.

The judging panel of 60 business experts and academics from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world assessed applicants’ business models, particularly creativity, potential to expand beyond local markets, long-term financial sustainability and making a positive impact on society.

The competition, now in its third year, is in three categories – startups, social enterprise, and ideas. The 15 semi-finalists in each category are:

  • Start-ups – Sihatech.com, Quantum Solutions, Ranam, Fixtag, Upositive, Majalisapp.com, Maharah, Hadiya Registry, Shakl 3D Printing Service and Marketplace, Juleb, Ironix Comix, Avocado, Fasil, Twetso, Live the Adventure.
  • Social enterprise – Mathaq, Red Sea Channel, Blooming Bs, Rofoof, Aquaponica, Maya Clinic, I have a dream, Labayh, Fun time center for children’s hospitality, perfection & selection, Qout, Farmer shop, The Vid Platform for Poverty Treatment, Bassmatna initiative, Mutajamie T.
  • Ideas – Electronic cafeteria, Dulab, Pro Care, Osta, Money Cloud, Qisma, Cucumber, Derma now application, Leo’s Lounge, Parking, Bank You So Much.com, AGS Co. Ltd, The Lawyer, Bihob Nara’ahoum initiative, and an electronic control system to help kidney patients.

The second round of judging will take place in February when the 27 finalist teams will be chosen. The winners will be announced in Riyadh on March 3, after the third round of judging. The closing ceremony will be in the honour of HE Dr Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and investment.

MITEF Saudi Startup Competition is organised by between Community Jameel’s Bab Rizq Jameel initiative in partnership with Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre, under the theme ‘Create your Tomorrow’.

Engineer Mohammed Yahia Hakami. Executive Director, International initiatives and Business Development at Community Jameel, said: “Announcement of semi-finalists is a definitive stage of the competition, which has become one of the most important events in Saudi Arabia in its impact on spreading the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Saudi and across the entire Middle East region.”

Sultan AlShahrani, Chief Human Resources and Communication Officer at Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “The judging panel comprises business experts, specialists, and academics in the most advanced fields to assess project concepts and ideas and seeking to convert these to real projects for a better future.”

Engineer Ali Sayyar, General Manager of Dulani Business Centre, said: “This competition is an important platform for the future of the entrepreneurship and innovation sector in the KSA and goes beyond this to benefit the economy and the labour market, as demonstrated by the volume and quality entries from talented youth.”

The MITEF Startups Competition is supported by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (government partner), Zain Saudi Arabia and Dulani Business Centre (strategic), Dulani Business Centre and King Khalid Foundation (social entrepreneurship), SEDCO Holding (financial awareness), Eye of Riyadh and MIT Technology Review (media), MITEF Pan Arab (regional), Wamda (entrepreneurship awareness), and IRO (technical). Service partners include KAUST, Olow, Qutuf, and Jain KSA.