MITEF Saudi Arabia StartSmart conference was held on March 18 in Jeddah. The event, now in its second year, is organized in partnership with Community Jameel’s Bab Rizq Jameel initiative and Zain Saudi Arabia. It is meant to be an open platform for presenting ideas, and for promoting local startups and social entrepreneurship.
Local and international speakers converged to discuss the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship, technology, and digital innovation. The event featured a presentation on MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies, various panels on social entrepreneurship and the future of entrepreneurship, case studies on local and international startups, and even a short film.
The winning teams from the 2016 MITEF Saudi Arabia Startup Competition were also announced.
The competition was split into three tracks: ideas, startups, and social enterprises. A panel of business experts and academics selected 27 winners, 9 from each track, out of over 2200 entrants.
The nine finalists in each track were:
Ideas – More than a 100 Years, Morshed, Smart Booking App, Health and comfort, Aquaponica, Wahidoon App, Packageha, Stitches, and Sense
Startup – Shayala App, Ajeer App, Mrsool App, Nashmi Services, Float, Gofrah, iBoat, Zayer, and Madad Services
Social enterprise – Tadweer, Banafsajeel, Scientific Saudi, OmCare, D. Sin Project, Axor, University Market, Ketaby Lak application, and Kararat
Startup track first place winner Madad Services LLC received SR100,000; runner-up iBoat received SR25,000; and second runner-up Nushmi Services received SR15,000.
Social Enterprise first place winner Tadweer received SR100,000; runner-up Banafsajeel received SR25,000; and second runner-up Ketaby Lak Application received SR15,000.
Ideas first place winner Aquaponica won SR20,000; runner-up Stitches False Wall received SR15,000; and second runner-up Packageha won SR10,000.
First, second, and third place winners in each track were eligible for cash prizes of SR 100,000, 25,000, and 15,000 respectively.