The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition ‘ASC’ is currently running in its 13th edition since 2006, happening yearly and led by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab to empower entrepreneurs and host an innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world.
What’s next after announcing shortlisted startups on the 15th of January, is an intensive training Bootcamp that’ll take place in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology ‘KAUST’ from the 1st till the 3rd of March.
The training, with the support of KAUST’s Entrepreneurship Center along with industry experts, is set to focus on pitching skills, business model canvas, design thinking, and a whole lot more, all under more than 40 mentors of many backgrounds and value proposition in preparation for their regional finals in April.
“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.” As Maya Rahal, Managing Director of MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab shared.
She further elaborated: “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 youths’ ability to lead for a better world.”
On the other hand, the Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development at KAUST, Dr. Kevin Cullen shared: “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.”
Head of Entrepreneurship Programs and MITEF Saudi, Bayan Abdullah Algamdi, 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.”
ASC places entrepreneurs in three different tracks: Ideas, Startups, and Social Entrepreneurship Track, in which the winning teams receive an equity-free fund of $12,000 award, and benefit from various activities from prestigious training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and incredible networking opportunities. Among shortlisted startups were four that are based in Bahrain, that are:
Dalooni, a platform linking businesses to independent sales agents, creating a win-win situation where businesses monetize out of word of mouth, and sales agents to gain extra income.
Hayatech, a Software as a Services (SaaS) and connected hardware platform that promotes wellbeing and incentivizes active lifestyles by transforming companies into healthy communities.
Honey Flow Africa, a platform that empowers African beekeepers by providing data-driven solutions that help in optimizing beekeeping operations as well as maintain the healthiness of bees.
Beanboat, a tech startup that connects consumers to coffee farmers, aiming to empower the current generation of coffee farmers as a token of appreciation for their labor and product.
Those startups will head out to Jeddah upon completion of the Bootcamp, where they’ll undergo the final round of judging on the 7th of March, followed by the MITEF ASC Conference and awards ceremony on the 8th of April in Abu Dhabi.