The Launch of The First Startup Accelerator in Saudi Arabia
Sunday 22 March, 2015
Qotuf Riyadah and Flat6Labs announced partnership to launch the first startup accelerator in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Flat6Labs Jeddah. Backed by the corporate sponsors: Arabian Cement Co. and IKEA Saudi Arabia, Flat6Labs Jeddah is designed as an environment that supports, fosters and invests in bright and passionate Saudi entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas.
Flat6Labs Jeddah will leverage on the expertise, know-how and success of Flat6Labs founded by Sawari Ventures in Egypt and Qotuf’s adept talent and well-established relationships with organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who support small businesses and strive for the creation of new jobs in the Saudi market. The partnership of Flat6Labs and Qotuf aims to unify their common vision of promoting entrepreneurship and extending it across the region.
The aim of the Flat6Labs Jeddah accelerator is to provide a three month program whereby the entrepreneurs will hone their soft skills and business models to get their startups running/operational and attractive to potential investors. Dr. Ghassan Ahmad Alsulaiman stated on behalf of all the founding sponsors, “We have great faith in all of the Saudi entrepreneurs who are addressing every day problems with unique technology solutions that can become sustainable businesses. As founding sponsors we support Flat6Labs Jeddah accelerator that will develop these entrepreneurs and provide them funding in a way that such startups will turn around to become notable businesses that create high quality of jobs for Saudis.”
The selection of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very strategic given both its socio-demographic structure and its large digital consumer market. “Flat6Labs Jeddah plans to support and foster a new generation of entrepreneurs across the region for years to come,” said Mr. Hany Al-Sonbaty, Managing Partner of Sawari Ventures and Co-Founder of Flat6Labs.
During the short introductory presentation Mrs. Tuba Terekli, CEO and Co-founder of Qotuf, stated, “When we talk about tech startups, everyone assumes that there aren’t enough tech inclined Saudi entrepreneurs. That is why, even though we see accelerators all over the MENA,
Saudi Arabia was left out of the trend and it is still very new as a concept here. However, recent years have shown us that there are many talented Saudi programmers with tech-enabled innovative business ideas.”“Not only will Flat6Labs Jeddah give opportunities to an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs, but it will also be a stepping stone in creating a bigger network of partners, mentors, and investors in the Middle East.” said Mr. Ramez Mohamed, CEO of Flat6Labs.Flat6Labs Jeddah plans to begin operations this summer and is scheduled to start the first acceleration cycle in Fall 2013 in a new state-of-the-art facility and entrepreneurs can now apply to join the first cycle through Flat6Labs Jeddah website: www.flat6labsjeddah.com