By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Abu Dhabi's Hub71, Saudi Misk Foundation agreement includes introductions to investors, mentor networks and access to a community that supports entrepreneurs
Abu Dhabi tech ecosystem Hub71 has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation aimed at creating a more dynamic market for UAE and Saudi start-ups, the two entities have announced.
The Misk Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016. It has the stated mission of discovering, developing and empowering Saudi youth to take a greater role in the nation’s future economy.
Following the MoU signing at the three-day Misk Global Forum in Riyadh, Hub71 CEO Mahmoud Adi said that “the MoU agreement signed with the Misk Foundation means that Hub71 start-ups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market”.
“It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights, investor relationships, strategic partnerships as well as co-working spaces,” he added.
The MoU outlines a number of steps aimed at building a larger shared ecosystem of start-ups in both countries, including shared in-market business development insights, introductions to investors, mentor networks and strategic partnerships.
Additionally, the MoU hopes to facilitate business services and mentorship from local and international experts, as well as access to a community that supports entrepreneurs.
“At Misk, we’re committed to empowering young people around the world to realise their potential in the future economy,” said Misk Global Forum executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin. “A vital part of that is supporting innovative entrepreneurship and exciting founder-led ideas.”
“This strategic MoU with Hub71 will allow us to create a more open and dynamic environment for these start-ups and others in the future, to grow, flourish, and succeed,” Hamidaddin added.
Winners of the EWC 2019 competition – a global start-up and pitch competition – will also have a chance to be shortlisted for the Hub71 incentive program, which includes up to 100 percent subsidized living, office space and healthcare for two years.