• Competition’s application submissions open on September 15, 2021, until December 6, 2021.
  • The biggest Startup Competition in the Arab Region is brought to you by MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia.
  • The “Start Smart” Conference will take place physically in March 2022 to announce this year’s winners in Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia.


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 15, 2021: MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia are proud to announce the launch of the MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022. This year’s competition will provide the opportunity for the participants from Arab Startup Competition and Saudi Startup Competition to compete under a single giant competition; organized & supported by Bab Rizq Jameel & Community Jameel Saudi and under the Patronage of the Governorate of Madinah Region.


The MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 pits entrepreneurs in three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship. The competition aims to enable entrepreneurs and promote an eco-system of innovation and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, with a special focus this year focusing on Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia. This year’s edition launches with the slogan “Empowering Today. Transforming Tomorrow” through a 7-month thrilling journey, filled with exciting activities like top-tier training, mentorship, media exposure, and excellent networking opportunities, not to mention the winning teams benefit from equity free-fund cash prizes.


The MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 will conclude with a final conference and awards ceremony that will take place during the Start Smart Conference, during the month of March 2022 in Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia, during which this year’s Startup Investment Forum (SIF) will also take place.


Applications are open for submissions starting September 15, 2021, until December 6, 2021.  Entrepreneurs and innovators from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world of all ages and industries can apply to one of the competition’s three tracks: Ideas, Startups, Social Entrepreneurship through the competition’s website: www.mitarabcompetition.com or www.mitefsaudi.org. The competition’s organizers will be conducting several roadshows and informative sessions throughout several Arab countries and Saudi Arabia, introducing the competition’s criteria and application process and helping candidates perfect their applications.

On this occasion, Mohammed Sanad Al-Yousif, CEO of the Economic Development Center in the Governorate of Al-Madinah Region, commented: “Out of the developmental role of the Governorate of Al-Madinah region and its efforts to advance the local economy and support local services, in which the entrepreneurship eco-system presents a pivotal role in line with the objectives of Vision 2030, and within the existing efforts of the Economic Development Center in the Governorate of Al-Madinah region to increase investment opportunities and ease processes of doing business, it contributes to the implementation of the region’s strategic objectives in supporting and stimulating the entrepreneurship sector as it is one of the most important factors to grow the private sector in the region. In this regard, Community Jameel Saudi succeeds in executing the MITEF Startup Competition, with great steps; this contributes to the enhancement of the entrepreneurial eco-system, the success of the region’s startups, and the support given to ideas and investment projects. This is the role that serves the expansion and support of innovation and entrepreneurship.”


He added: “We are pleased to host the forum in Al-Madinah Region as a global destination for launching businesses and attracting qualitative investments to achieve sustainable development, in God’s willing, and under the directives of His Highness the Emir of the region and his deputy, may God grant them success, and under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his trusted Crown Prince, may God protect them, in achieving prosperous economy and contributing to the economic development of the region and this dear country.”


Commenting on the launch of MITEF Saudi Arabia and Pan Arab’s Startup Competition 2022, Hala Fadel, Founder and Chair of MITEF Pan Arab said: “We are delighted to partner with MITEF Saudi Arabia this year to officially launch the Startup Competition 2022 that will be held in Al-Madinah. After running the Arab Startup Competition (ASC) for 15 successful editions in different Arab cities, we realize the importance of empowering our entrepreneurs by providing them with the proper training and mentorship and the effect that they have on transforming the entrepreneurship ecosystem. According to the 2020 Arab Entrepreneurship Maturity Index: Insights and Forecasts report that we published, ASC startups’ customer base grew by 43% over the previous two years and 45% of startups expanded into new geographic markets, notably the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa and East Asia.  Our work for the past years comes from the deep-rooted belief that investing in this region’s human capital is elemental to its long-term economic and social mobility. We look forward to this upcoming edition and the transformations that will impact the societies around the region.”

Hassan Jameel, Vice Chairman of Community Jameel, said: We are proud to be a partner and to take part in this exceptional edition of the 2021-2022 MITEF Startup Competition welcoming entrepreneurs across the Arab world. The MITEF Pan Arab and the MITEF Saudi Arabia startup competitions have succeeded in establishing more than 550 startups and providing more than 15,600 job opportunities, highlighting the outstanding entrepreneurial eco-system in the Al-Madinah region of Saudi Arabia.”

Watch the MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 here.


For more information on the MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 application submissions process, eligibility, and judging criteria, please visit: www.mitefsaudi.org


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