RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) continues to push for digital advancement through partnerships with global tech companies with an aim to accelerate the Kingdom’s adoption of digital technologies and to branch out into emerging markets.
The MCIT announced a partnership agreement with the Global TechStars Accelerator, which specializes in technical advancement, in partnership with Raed Ventures Investment Fund, a capital fund that focuses on investing in the initial stages of projects to enhance the success of emerging companies in the Kingdom.
The three entities will launch an integrated back-up program for entrepreneurs, under the supervision of a group of mentors and international experts. The program includes a series of workshops and training courses where experts will work with entrepreneurs to discover elements of success and how to strengthen them in their projects. They will also work to overcome the obstacles they may encounter during the project launch phase.
The accelerator will adopt 10 startup companies in its first program.
Projects involved in the programs will also receive SR450,000 ($120,000) in funding, provided that the project meets some conditions for success.
Ibrahim Al-Hudhaif, a business development specialist at Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Holding Company, told Arab News that technology is one of the key drivers of an economy as it improves efficiency. He added that finding a well-knitted system and a value chain will support the advanced position of the Kingdom and will attract skills and act as business incubators for innovation and new ideas.
He noted that accelerators can speed up the implementation of a business idea and make it investible through funds and reduce the chances of failure.
Al-Hudhaif added: “The Careem application has created more than 200,000 job opportunities in the transportation sector and a monthly income of SR7,000. The Saudi Venture Capital Company injected SR1 billion through its various programs and its total investments including shareholders estimated at SR4.26 billion. Seventeen investment funds invested in 63 startup Saudi companies in fields such as e-commerce, fintech, technology information solutions, education, delivery, and transportation.”
Dr. Ahmed Al-Thunayan, deputy minister for future jobs and digital entrepreneurship at the MCIT, underscored the ministry’s keenness to support and stimulate emerging companies. He said that emerging companies are the engine of the fourth industrial revolution and the real investment in the journey to realizing all-out digital transformation.
Al-Thunayan added that the capabilities and expertise that this accelerator possesses made the MCIT support the new partnership.
Co-founder of Raed Ventures Talal Al-Asmari said that empowering entrepreneurs is the way to create a growing economy that contributes to the realization of Vision 2030, adding that the program will stimulate the creation of new local entrepreneurs over the next few years.