In just six months since the conclusion of the first batch, graduates have raised more than US$5.5 million, created more than 50 jobs, and increased their monthly recurring revenue by as much as 400%, expanding their ventures across regional markets.
Osama Alraee, Executive Manager at Misk Innovation, said, “we’re delighted to continue our work with 500 Startups and supercharging the talent and potential of young people here in Saudi, and across the region. Supporting entrepreneurialism to empower young people is a core component of our mission at Misk and we’re excited to see what the latest intake will achieve.”
Reflecting on their experience, alumni of the first batch spoke highly of the program. Ahmed Khairy, founder of Gameball, said the experience was “life-changing.” Nicola Cuoco, the co-founder of Kenz, stated that “[the] program taught me how to focus on growth more effectively… After the accelerator I feel much more confident in my ability to plan and execute, especially as a leader.”
Currently, Batch 2 of the accelerator program is on-going with 19 companies from countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. They represent a variety of sectors including Recruitment, Retail and eCommerce, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Food, Fashion, Professional Services, Construction, Payments, Education, and Beauty.
This Misk500 Accelerator program combines broad growth expertise with deep regional knowledge, and offers participants seed-stage investment from the 500 Startups regional fund, 500 Falcons. Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds, bringing their own experience to bear in the sessions they lead for participating founders.
Previous mentors have said of the program that they believe that “change comes from innovation and are excited to help entrepreneurs in their journey to achieve this change in the Middle East by mentoring startups in this program.” Ana Paula Gonzalez, Director of Innovation and Partnerships said the most rewarding part of attending as a mentor was being able to help founders who are “working to solve important problems in innovative ways in their region.”
Due to the ongoing success and demonstrated results of the program, 500 Startups and Misk are eager to continue their collaboration in 2020 to bring the third edition of the program to Riyadh. Applications are now open and interested startups can apply over here.
- Startups must be pre-seed or seed-stage technology companies based in the MENA region.
- Founders are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program.
- A maximum of two additional team members per company will be allowed to participate at any given time.
- Startups must have an existing working product.
Please Note: This program is provided in English. Participating startups will need to have a strong understanding of the English language.