Riyadh Techstars Accelerator Program To Continue In 2023
The startup funding initiative will work with entrepreneurs to grow and scale MENA companies.
After wrapping up the inaugural round of The Riyadh Techstars Accelerator in 2022 with investments in 11 portfolio businesses, the program’s organizers have confirmed the continuation of the initiative for 2023.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Saudi National Bank, and RAED Ventures will come together for the pre-seed investor round, comprising a 13-week program that will run from June through to September 2023.
According to a recent press release, 2023’s Riyadh Techstars Accelerator will work with entrepreneurs to establish and expand innovative companies in the MENA region while developing a comprehensive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Saudi Arabia’s IT sector — currently worth over $40 billion and supporting over 318,000 jobs — is quickly becoming a leading global force.
“The nation is also making significant strides in enabling diversity in the workforce, with more women employed in the ICT industry. Agility and resilience, powered by talent and technology, have enabled Saudi Arabia to reach new heights,” says Abdullah Alswaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
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Startups from across the Middle East and Saudi-based entrepreneurs can now submit their applications to the 2023 Riyadh Techstars Accelerator. This year’s event promises a packed schedule of fundraising opportunities, workshops, mentorship, and networking.
“I am enthusiastic about the growth of the Saudi Arabian and broader Middle East startup ecosystem. Between the Kingdom’s investment in entrepreneurship and its central location, Riyadh can attract global startup talent for the entire region. Part of what we do at Techstars is to help founders connect their innovation with the rest of the world,” says Maëlle Gavet, CEO of Techstars.
NEOM Airlines Is Saudi Arabia’s New, Tech-Centric Carrier
The airline will embrace advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, and utilize high-tech propulsion systems by 2026.
Opening in 2025, NEOM is a $500 billion Saudi Arabian smart city that will be powered entirely by renewable energy. Now, Saudi authorities have announced that the futuristic metropolis will also be served by its own dedicated carrier — NEOM Airlines.
The service will begin operating in 2024 and embrace advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and biometric check in. Aircraft will fly to and from NEOM Bay before moving to the soon-to-be-built NEOM International Airport.
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NEOM Airlines will focus on tourist, commercial, and residential travel and incorporate plenty of cutting-edge technology. Klaus Goersch, the airline’s CEO, revealed that existing aircraft will be retrofitted with existing technology on launch, but by 2026, an ultra-modern fleet will be in operation, “whether electric, hydrogen-powered, or supersonic”.
As well as modern, low-emissions power airplanes, NEOM aircraft will also be fitted with sleek, modern interiors, 6G Wi-Fi, large screens for every seat, plus gaming and chat technology.