July 9th, 2020
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - 07 July 2020 - Saudi Arabia is gearing up to host the first-ever Startup Weekend Online: Unite to Fight Covid-19 in the country (#SWKSA2020), which will host a massive group of 800+ innovators as they craft sustainable solutions to tackle the pandemic. Spearheaded by Techstars in collaboration with The Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the event will enable Saudi ideas to take center stage as attendees pitch a larger audience than ever before. The goal of the event is to bring together the smartest minds alongside Saudi Arabian thought leaders to find solutions and adaptations to address the global pandemic.
The event will take place July 9-11, with the participation of innovators, mentors, and investors from around the world, as well as some of Techstars’ key figures, including David Brown, CEO; Scott Ford, COO; Kristina Rodriguez, Corporate Innovation & Ecosystem Development; Jose Iglesias, Director of Community, and Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Regional Manager in the Middle East.
Mentors for the event each come with a rich background in their respective field of expertise. Those fields are varied by design, from Techstars’ own tech giants, to Saudi leaders, to global key players from the corporate world.
The competition invites all local innovators, entrepreneurs, students, migrants, teachers, developers, designers, marketers, nurses, doctors, and scientists – creating an incredibly broad spectrum of thought to develop solutions for this unique time. #SWKSA2020 will enable collaboration among attendees by forming complementing teams who will each present their demo or prototype as they work with their mentors.
“We are confidently relying on the talent in Saudi Arabia to drive the local ecosystem forward and take on the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis to build a bright future for the Kingdom and the region,” said Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Techstars EMEA Regional Manager. “As we have witnessed before, the most creative solutions emerge from the hardest challenges. We are excited to empower Saudi Arabia entrepreneurs to steer the wheels of diverse innovation in this new era.”
The top 10 winners will each receive a $5,000 prize to help develop each idea further.
One thing that can be learned from the COVID-19 crisis is that more rapid advancement is possible through meaningful collaboration and through learning from the experiences of our neighbors. Since the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, we have seen unprecedented levels of collaboration across different fields of specialization, from medicine to giant tech competitors, leading to fast innovations. People and institutions around the world are building on each other’s ideas and working together for achieving shared goals. The way forward and out of this pandemic through mobilizing together to innovate.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas — entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,300 companies that today have a combined market cap valuation of more than $185 billion. www.techstars.com