This is the first time Al Madina Al Munawara holds a competition of this scale, marking a momentous milestone in the region’s budding entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Embarking on a different kind of pilgrimage to Al Madina Al Munawara, 60 semi-finalists of the annual MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Startup competition will head to Saudi Arabia in February, 2022 to attend the Start Smart Conference for the announcement of the finalists and winners. This will be the first time the sacred city of Madina holds a competition of this scale, marking a momentous milestone in the region’s entrepreneurial ambitions.
The competition attracted more than 2600 projects from more than 20 Arab countries with a venerable panel of 150 international exports sifting through submissions based on creativity, scalability and positive impact on society. Reaping the benefits of seven intensive months of top-tier training, mentorship, exposure and networking, the winning teams will have access to equity free-fund cash prizes.
“The entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem has reached an inflection point as 450-plus alumni are leading their way through the domains of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental infrastructure”, Hala Fadel, Founder and Chair of MITEF Pan Arab, said. “Today and more than any time before, we must innovate and invest in sustainable businesses that ensure a better future for our communities. The Startup Competition depends on its regional reach to attract Arab innovators of all backgrounds. The aim is to bring their startups and their expertise and grant them the opportunity to find new ways to progress with our partners in Community Jameel Saudi and MIT.”
The newly-announced semi-finalists will be hosted by the Taibah University training camp in the university campus in Madinah on February 17th and February 18th, 2022 under the supervision of specialized trainers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
The second judging round will launch on February 20th, 2022 to announce the finalists, and the winners will be selected on February 22nd. In tandem with the competition finale, the Startups Investment Forum will also be held in Saudi Arabia on February 21st, February 22nd and February 23rd.