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Saudi-founded startups graduate from accelerator programme

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on January 1, 2020
Saudi-founded startups graduate from accelerator programme


AstroLabs recently announced the graduation of 17 Saudi-founded technology startups from its Forward KSA accelerator program.

The intensive three-month program culminated in the top five startups pitching their products at a celebratory closing ceremony, which took place at the AstroLabs Riyadh office. The startups that presented on-stage included GetMuv, Hoplay, Speero, IFF Machine and Dailymealz.

At the event, AstroLabs also celebrated the first anniversary of its Riyadh office opening. AstroLabs Riyadh was inaugurated in December 2018 after AstroLabs was granted the first-ever international incubator licence by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.

Under this licence, AstroLabs operates a premier co-working space, capability building learning academy, and business setup services. AstroLabs has assisted over 60 companies, whose market value exceeds $2 billion, to expand into the Saudi market with 100 per cent foreign ownership.

The Forward KSA programme provides unprecedented opportunities for growth and development for technology entrepreneurs across the kingdom. The programme is the culmination of a two-year capability development campaign to build the digital and entrepreneurial skills of over 1,000 Saudis. It aims to promote entrepreneurship and its benefits to the economy of Saudi Arabia by providing high-quality training, access to mentorship, and building connections to the right partners. The programme was made possible by the support of the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative, Google for Startups and Latham & Watkins.

Mustafa Nabelsi, country director of AstroLabs KSA, said: "We are proud of the startups that have graduated from our programme and look forward to witnessing the immense success and value that they will bring to the Saudi economy. "

The application process for the Forward KSA Accelerator program kicked off on March 31, 2019. AstroLabs received 120 applications and 13 high-potential startups were shortlisted based on a pre-defined criteria and a meticulous interview process. A further four startups were nominated to join the Accelerator by the KSA's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology through its 'Tech Champions' program.

The final 17 tech startups were enrolled in the program in September of this year where AstroLabs and its partners helped them scale up and accelerate their journey to growth by providing a one-of-a-kind practical and tailored curriculum that specifically catered for their unique needs and challenges.


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