One of the oldest accelerator programs in the Middle East, TAQADAM, recently granted ten startups a cash pool totaling $1 million. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology established the initiative in cooperation with the Saudi British Bank. This year’s annual accelerator program showcase marked the sixth year of the launch of the prize ceremony. Over the years, 150 startup teams have graduated from the accelerator so far, and they have raised more than $58 million in funding.
TAQADAM, The Accelerator Program
This year’s graduates presented their initiatives to a jury of 24 international and local investors. These investors included Amal Dokhan of 500 Startups, Dalal Al-Mutlaq of Iliad Partners, and Ian Witkopp of Sino Global Capital.
At the event, Saeed Assiri, SABB’s Chief Digital Officer, said that this accelerator is an expansion of SABB’s social and innovative work. He went on to say that TAQADAM is a good example of an important project that helps the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. He also said that it is an excellent example of the SABB’s goals to support the SME sector, entrepreneurship, and innovation, all of which are important for the long-term growth of the Kingdom’s economy.
The most recent accelerator batch includes 132 founders from 11 different countries and 47 startups pushing the limits of science and technology. Ten startups were each given $100,000 in non-dilutive capital to help them grow their companies. Also, they will alsohave the chance to enroll in the runway program of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center. The supported startups are Kitchefy, Plastus, Tamawal, DESAISIV, Terraxy, Barakahte, BRIDGR, Beekeeper, SuperCommerce, and Lisan. All of which focus on a range of sectors spanning e-commerce, sustainability, IoT, AI, and tech.
Saudi businessman Omar Shabaan says that some of the best companies in the MENA region and around the world get their sourcing from TAQADAM. He also noted that it was essential to have access to them and be able to look at future investment opportunities. Indeed, Saudi’s support for entrepreneurship and innovative technology is speeding up the growth of startups.
The TAQADAM Accelerator is now accepting applications for its next group. The six-month program includes workshops, funding of up to $140,000 per company, mentorship opportunities, and access to a global network of companies, investors, and partners.
Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem has been expanding quickly in recent years. This is because the government is making significant expenditures on programs to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. By giving startups funds and other tools, these programs help build a healthy entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom and promote the growth of innovative businesses in the area. The ten startups that received some of the $1 million in funding from TAQADAM are expected to grow and succeed, which will likely have a significant effect on the Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem as a whole.