RIYADH — Following the success of the first two German-Saudi Startup Competitions last year in Riyadh and Manama (Bahrain), the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) again called upon startups in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to apply. This time the competition was aiming to find the best high-tech startups in the fields of IoT (Internet of Things) and Healthcare.
The pitch event took place at the BMW Showroom in Jeddah last July 9 with the participation of around 200 interested guests, leading local entrepreneurs, investors as well as high-ranking speakers from the respective sectors.
GESALO organized the event in cooperation with the German Embassy in Riyadh, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Jeddah, the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology as well as the Chambers of Commerce in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. It would be impossible to organize an event of this magnitude without the strong support from renowned companies such as Alexander & Partner, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors, DETASAD, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Lufthansa, SAP, and Siemens Healthineers.
Speakers like Michell Atallah (CEO, Siemens Healthineers), Stratis Pelekidis (SAP DGTAL X) and Fabian Blumberg (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung) underlined the importance and accountability of companies and institutions to support startups and innovative idea especially in line with the Vision 2030. Holger Ziegeler, German Consul General, ended up his speech with the words: “Most of the big companies were once a startup!”
The jury and the audience followed the innovative pitches and ideas of ten Saudi and Bahraini startups with great interest. Followed by their three-minute presentation, the startups had to withstand critical questions and convince the jury of their project.
In the end, it was a very tight competition in the field of IoT that Mustafa Mousa finally won for his team at SADEEM International Company. In the healthcare sector, Ms. Zahra Amohanna was able to convince the jury of her concept as CEO and Founder of YouPositive.
The two winners of the Star!up Germany Pitch Event were awarded with flights (Lufthansa) and fully sponsored participation in this year’s Start.Up! Germany Tour in Munich later this year. Last year, 46 start-ups from 16 countries such as Brazil, France, Kenya, Russia, and South Korea took part in a roadshow through Germany’s innovation hubs. The startups can expect a series of meetings and match-makings with German and international investors, public institutions and companies and a visit to one of the biggest Founders Event, Bits & Pretzels.
The Delegate of German Industry & Commerce, Oliver Oehms, concluded that the third German-Saudi Startup Competition exceeded its predecessor events, in terms of scope and also excellence of the awardees. “We are proud being able to take these young entrepreneurs to Munich, I am sure they will attract a lot of attention on such a global platform,” Oliver added. — SG