JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Techstars, the world’s most active pre-seed investor, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) and the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), announced today the launch of two Techstars Founder Catalyst programs in Jeddah and Al Ahsa. The first edition of the programs will aim at supporting founders across various industries in honing their entrepreneurial skills, better understand their target customers, and dig deeply into the innovative solutions they are offering.
The Techstars Founder Catalyst Jeddah / Al Ahsa is a 10-week hybrid program with two distinct cohorts based out of Jeddah and Al Ahsa in Saudi Arabia. The program invites early-stage founders from all industries, with a preference for founders in media tech, from across the world to participate and shape the future of the Kingdom’s startup ecosystem.
“Saudi Arabia has an emerging and dynamic startup community,” said Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet. “We’ve seen firsthand the power of nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems through our existing Riyadh Techstars Accelerator. In the Techstars spirit of helping entrepreneurs succeed, we will empower even more entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia through our Founder Catalyst in partnership with SNB and MCIT.”
Both programs will run in a hybrid format from September to November (Jeddah) / December (Al Ahsa) 2023 and provide more than 50 founders with valuable masterclasses, mentorship, community and access to Techstars’ worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and partners. Founders will also receive support from Saudi National Bank’s and the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s (MCIT) vast technology and business expertise across a variety of business units.
Applications for both Founder Catalyst programs are now open.
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Past Techstars Founder Catalyst programs have resulted in hundreds of business and investor connections and seeded countless relationships between participants and mentors. By providing introductions to world-class resources and education, Techstars helps participants dramatically increase their chances of success.
Techstars Program Manager, Emilie Vallauri, said “I am thrilled to be working alongside our partners the Saudi National Bank and the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to foster a vibrant and dynamic startup and media technologies ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and the broader MENA region. At Techstars, we support and nurture ecosystems and we lay the foundation for a future where groundbreaking media technologies emerge.”
“Entrepreneurship that is built on technology and innovation is essential to achieving Vision 2030, the roadmap for social change and economic diversification that guides our country. 70% of the population is under the age of twenty. These people are our digital natives, and we want to capitalize on their enthusiasm and curiosity to innovate faster,” stated Abdullah Alshamrani, GM of center of digital Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MCIT).
Ms. Basma Aljawhari, Head of CSR at the Saudi National Bank, stated: “SNB is committed to supporting and developing young entrepreneurs, encouraging them to pursue their business ventures and launch their own successful projects. This will contribute to the growth of the national economy and progress development in keeping with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. In order to foster innovation and build capacities, the Bank established a number of business accelerators. As a result, Saudi nationals now have more employment opportunities around the Kingdom. The goals of this partnership align with SNB’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, which promote entrepreneurs interested in technology.”
All early-stage founders – especially in media tech – are encouraged to apply until 13 August, 2023 (Jeddah) or 27 August, 2023 (Al Ahsa). Early applications are prioritized.