Saudi Arabia, Startup, UAE

Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation, Abu Dhabi Hub71 partner to foster startup innovation

Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, that outlined steps towards creating a more dynamic market for startups between the Kingdom and the UAE.

The agreement was signed during the three-day Misk Global Forum in Riyadh.

The event also saw Hub71 named the UAE’s National Organiser for the world’s biggest pitch competition: The Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) 2020, which is also an integral part of the Misk Global Forum.

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager, Misk Global Forum, said, “At Misk we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realise their potential in the future economy; a vital part of that is supporting innovative entrepreneurship and exciting founder-led ideas. This strategic MoU with Hub71 will allow us to create a more open and dynamic environment for these startups and others in the future, to grow, flourish and succeed.”

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, said, “The MoU agreement signed with Misk Foundation means that Hub71 startups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market. It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights, investor relationships, strategic partnerships as well as co-working spaces.”

The MoU outlines steps towards building a larger shared ecosystem aimed at helping startups access the UAE and Saudi markets by offering shared in-market business development insights, introductions to investors, and mentor networks and strategic partnerships; business services and mentorship from local and international experts; and access to a close-knit community and ecosystem that support entrepreneurs.

Winners of the EWC 2019 competition will also have the chance to be shortlisted for the Hub71 Incentive Program.

As the sole National Partner of the EWC2020 for the UAE, Hub71 will be leading the charge on a series of nationwide competitions.

Adi added, “We’ll be on the hunt for UAE’s best startups from each of the UAE’s seven emirates and proudly showcasing the winning ideas to represent ‘Team UAE’ at the EWC 2020 next November.”

The EWC is a global startup and pitch competition. Its inaugural 2019 edition has attracted entries from over 100,000 entrepreneurs, from idea stage to growth phase across all sectors, from 187 countries. Entrants are competing to win life-changing cash prizes, global mentorship and support services, as well as the chance to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the Hub71 Incentive Program, which includes up to 100 percent subsidised living, office space and healthcare for two years.

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