The World Economic Forum and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) have selected the 100 most promising Arab startups of 2019. This initiative aims to further integrate the Arab world’s most promising startup entrepreneurs into a national and regional dialogue on pressing challenges. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in the official programme of the upcoming World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa where they will engage with industry and government leaders to discuss the future of their industries and how to add value to society.
“The Arab world will need its private sector to address youth unemployment, the current skills gap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the inclusion of women in the workforce. Start-ups, and the entrepreneurs building them, are key to a strategic public-private dialogue on these issues and to creating corresponding new opportunities in society,” said Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.
Among the selected startups are:
- Wahed, UAE – the world’s first halal investment platform
- MonoJo, Jordan – a biotech company that uses camel milk to develop antibodies
Proximie, Lebanon – a company that uses augmented reality for surgeons to contribute remotely to clinical procedures
- Swvl, Egypt – an app that reinvents public transport with fixed fares and booking
- Malaeb, Bahrain – a platform to meet fellow football players and book pitches
Akkasa, Oman – a production company shaping country’s cultural landscape its Epilert, Tunisia – a bracelet that detects epilepsy seizures and sends alerts to caregivers
- Coded, Kuwait – the first coding booth camps for the Arab world
- Clean City M3kod, Morocco – an app for civic engagement
- FalconVic, Saudia Arabia – a company conducting a range of mapping including that of cultural heritage sites with autonomous drones
You can check out the rest of the startups here.
“Across the Middle East, entrepreneurs are devising increasingly innovative ways to tackle the evolving societal challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with novel applications of technology. These efforts need to be encouraged, recognized and supported by investors, business leaders
The initiative welcomed back start-ups selected in 2017, including: Elves (Egypt), an AI concierge service; Daraty (Syria), a toolkit for children to learn electronics; and Careem (UAE), the Arab world’s first unicorn company recently sold for $3.1 billion.
With a 31% increase in investments compared to 2017, a new record was reached for regional start-up funding last year, according to data from MAGNiTT, a company twice selected among the 100 Arab start-ups initiative. Foreign investment remained stable in 2018 with 30% from outside the Arab world, while fintech took over e-commerce as the top industry as a result of an 8% increase in deals since 2017.
A selection committee of experts on the start-ups ecosystem in the region worked with the World Economic Forum and the EDB to screen and select the 100 start-ups.
• Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
About the meeting
With the full support and presence of Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the meeting will convene over 1,000 key leaders from government, business and civil society, as well as leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Levant and North Africa, and key international stakeholders from East Africa, Europe and the United States. Building on the Forum’s Annual Meeting in January in Davos-Klosters and its theme of Globalization 4.0, the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will take place under the theme, Building Platforms of Cooperation.