Lucidya and Labayh win 1st German-Saudi Startup Competition in Riyadh

In the 1st German-Saudi Startup Competition, ten startups from all over the Kingdom competed for a four-day startup tour to Germany. The pitch event at the Rosh Rayhaan Hotel in Riyadh on March 22 was organized by the GESALO and attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Johara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the guest of honor.

In his welcoming remarks, the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce for Saudi

Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen, Mr. Oliver Oehms, explained: “Today is about start-ups

and entrepreneurship and we will bring the two winning startups to Berlin to showcase

promising Saudi startups at an exciting conference, the MENA Business Forum. Small and

medium-sized companies and innovative business ideas are the key drivers of the German economy and a growing sector in Saudi Arabia.”

The German Ambassador Dieter Haller commended the Guest of Honor Johara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for giving a wonderful example for Saudi entrepreneurs and for helping to

empower Saudi women. Regarding the Startup Competition, he said:

“The Saudi startup scene is as vital and dynamic as any other segment of the Saudi society. We have thought that we should bring the Saudi and the German startup scene together and one of the most fertile places for startups is Berlin. I am so happy that the two winning startups will be invited to this important conference in Berlin. My hope is that we will establish a continuous platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between German startups and Saudi startups.“ (Dieter Haller, German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Labayh and Lucidya win the pitch

Following the official opening, the ten finalists from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Taif and Medina competed in two groups for a trip to Germany. They had three minutes to pitch their

business ideas in front of the German-Saudi business community and a high ranking jury which had another two minutes for follow-up questions.

In the group of Social Entrepreneurship, the winner was Basim Albeladi (Labayh) from Medina. The project helps individuals who are suffering from family and psychological problems by useful free content and providing consultation sessions through a mobile app which works as a point of connection between consultants and users. Albeladi, who won already the social track at the country’s most significant startup competition MITEF, prevailed in a close decision against the Ahlam Cluntun (Standout Center), Nouf Yousef

Alsaleem (Mathaqi), Jihan AlHarbi (Rofoof) and Fadi Yahya (Suplift).

Especially the way of the presentation as well as the huge passion of the participants for their projects persuaded the jury and left a lasting impression on them.

In the group of Tech Innovation startups the winner was Abdullah Asiri (Lucidya) from Jeddah. The company aims at empowering businesses in order to make smarter decisions by using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies so that they monitor and analyze all forms of digital media to understand and predict consumers’ thoughts. Faisal Al-Zahrani (Ajeer), Alhussin Binsaleh (Mayaclinic), Abdulrahman Alshehri (Tweetso) and Faisal Alnemary (YNMO) completed the field of participants and provided entertaining, informative and professional contributions.

German industry aims to reinforce efforts into Saudi scene

Participants, sponsors and partners were also delighted and looking forward to a new edition of the competition as well as further activities in the field of startups and young business. “We’re proud of our leadership position within the high technology space, and delighted to work together with the German Embassy, GESALO, and our partners to support development and building of a vibrant start-up ecosystem in the Kingdoms’ ICT industry,” said Mr. Felix Wass, the President , and CEO of Detecon Al Saudia.

Kushal Shah, Managing Partner for the Middle East at Roland Berger commented on

the rising sector in the Kingdom, “The number of startups is growing at a faster rate than ever before in the region and entrepreneurship is becoming center stage in KSA in particular, in line with its Vision 2030. At Roland Berger, entrepreneurship is part of our DNA and we are delighted to be supporting the first German-Saudi Startup Competition in Riyadh, given our strong connect with both geographies. We look forward to hosting the winners at Spielfeld Digital Hub in Berlin, our German corporate innovation hub”.

The two winners will travel to Germany between April 11 and 14 and get the chance to

pitch at the MENA Business Forum on April 12, 2018. Before and after the event, an exciting dive into the vibrant start-up ecosystem in Berlin is waiting for the entrepreneurs including individual meetings with successful German founders, investors, and experts.

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