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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH — Six Saudi startups have made it to the Global Finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) after 14 of the Kingdom’s best startups competed against each other, pitching their business ideas during an interactive virtual event on Monday.
The startup Talon Dust Control, which provides dust control and soil stabilization solutions to customers in the GCC and MENA regions, emerged as the winner along with five other businesses.
The five other startups are:
— Edama Organic Solutions develops organic waste recycling solutions designed specifically for desert climate conditions.
— BrightSign has developed a smart glove that can translate any form of sign language to any language, to help people with hearing and speech disabilities.
— Upskillable is a people analytics company that helps employers make smart recruitment and people development decisions.
— PereGrine Genomics is a company that leverages big data and advanced analytics, such as artificial intelligence, to deliver accurate and effective healthcare to society on a personalized basis.
— Miqyas is a company that maximizes efficiency for fashion e-commerce companies by giving customers confidence in the accuracy of online sizes.
The event was one of many EWC national finals taking place around the world. Judges select the top companies from each event, with the winners progressing to the Global Finals that are being held as part of the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (Misk) global forum annual gathering from Oct. 18-20. Overall, this year's EWC has attracted 174,000 entrants from 200 countries.
As well as progressing to the Global Finals, all six winning Saudi startups each received a cash prize of $50,000. Fifteen thousand Saudi startups applied to take part in the National Finals, and all of them benefitted from free online services provided through the EWC platform.
Speaking at the start of the national finals, Misk Foundation CEO Dr. Badr Al-Badr described the event as “an important milestone in the EWC journey”. He added: “Due to challenges brought by COVID-19, we had to find creative ways to overcome challenges. We’ve pushed harder to deliver digitally an even better experience than last year — thanks to the virtual format, we have around 75 percent more people engaged and connected.”
Al-Badr said that Misk was involved with the EWC because “we believe that in order to empower youth, we need to give them the tools and show them the path, and one of the future paths for young leaders in entrepreneurship.” He continued saying:“Even if you don’t win today, it doesn’t matter as you might be the most successful entrepreneur. Keep going and don’t give up.”
The core of the event involved the 14 finalists pitching for three minutes each, before answering two minutes of questions from the judges.
In his closing remarks, Abdulrahman Al Suhaymi, Misk’s lead for the Entrepreneurship World Cup, thanked all involved in the event. He said: “We were very happy and inspired by pitches whose founders presented with ambition, fearlessness, and passion." — SG
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