Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

Startups take home $1 million at the TAQADAM Accelerator

TAQADAM, one of the longest running accelerator programs in the Middle East, awarded a funding pool of $1 million to 10 startups at its annual accelerator showcase on March 1, 2023.
The showcase marks the sixth year of the accelerator, an initiative by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and partner Saudi British Bank (SABB). A new analysis of the previous 5 cohorts showed that 150 startup teams have graduated from the accelerator and raised more than $58 million in funding.

Speaking at the showcase, Saeed Assiri, chief digital officer at SABB said, “We at SABB are very proud of our strategic partnership with KAUST and the TAQADAM program. This accelerator is an extension of our social and innovative initiatives adopted by SABB in-line with its strategy and strong belief in its social responsibility towards the community. TAQADAM represents an example of major initiatives in support of the Kingdom's 2030 Vision and is a great illustration of the Bank's ambitions to support the SME sector, entrepreneurship and innovation, all of which are key tributaries of the sustainable development of the Kingdom's economy.”

He added: “We will continue to take the lead in supporting the aspirations of the youth and contribute to building a promising generation in various fields of business, science and technology."

This latest cohort includes 47 startups and 132 founders from 11 countries across 17 different industries who are pushing the boundaries of science and technology. Ten startups each received $100,000 of non-dilutive funding to advance their businesses and will also have the opportunity to join the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center’s runway program.

The funded startups include:

Plastus: Converting organic waste into bioplastics.

Kitchefy: Growing food brands through virtual kitchens.

Tamawal: Marketplace for personalized loans.

DESAISIV: Optimizing insurance underwriting.

Terraxy: Boosting plant survivability under desert conditions.

Barakah: Tackling commercial food waste.

BRIDGR: Saas platform automating consultancy operations.

Beekeeper: Improving honeybee health through software, IoT and biotech.

SuperCommerce: Enabling large-scale self-managed e-commerce.

Lisan: Generative AI for Arabic language grammar and writing.

TAQADAM accelerator is known for producing successful startups - many of whom have raised funding or found a new home in Saudi Arabia. TAQADAM graduate LabLabee recently secured US$1.4M in pre-seed funding to expand its Telco Cloud lab platform and AgTech startup iyris merged with Red Sea Farms and went on to raise US$18.5 million last year.

On this year’s demo day, the graduates of the sixth cohort pitched before a judging panel of 24 global and regional investors including Amal Dokhan of 500 Startups, Dalal Almutlaq of Iliad Partners and Ian Witkopp of Sino Global Capital.

“TAQADAM is sourcing some of the best startups in the MENA region and the world,” said Omar Shabaan, an investor and chief executive officer of the Space who was in attendance. “Having access to them and being able to look at future opportunities of investment is something that is invaluable.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s support for entrepreneurship and innovative technology is driving a startup ecosystem at a rapid pace with investments growing by 72% in 2022. KAUST and SABB are committed to supporting startups that will reap benefits to the Kingdom such as job creation and innovative products and services. Over the past decade, KAUST has played an active role in driving local entrepreneurship: the university has graduated 346 startups from its programs - such as TAQADAM - while helping them to raise over $300 million of investment funding. These startups are focused on tackling global issues such as sustainability for food, water, energy and the environment.

“Being a founder means that risk and uncertainty is a daily occurrence. It is even more daunting when you are building a startup that has the potential to change the world,” said Abdulrahman AlJiffry, startup accelerator manager at KAUST Entrepreneurship. “At TAQADAM, we are part of each founder’s journey, operating as advisors not just investors. Our funding is non-dilutive because we care about sustainable impact first and foremost. This means we can look beyond immediate profitability and take risks on the founders who are focused on solving some of our biggest global challenges.”

The application window for the next cohort of TAQADAM Accelerator is now open. The 6-month program offers opportunities for mentorship, workshops, non-dilutive funding up to $140,000 per startup, access to an international network of startups, investors and partners. Founders can apply beginning today at

Related Articles

Saudi Press
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
A Mississippian man, who was once considered a “ticking time bomb,” has lost a whopping 165 kilograms! What motivated this incredible transformation?
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Watch: “They are wounded but unbowed, unbreakable.”
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Saudi Arabia To Introduce Yoga In Universities
Middle East real estate market to see strong growth in 2023, predicts CBRE.
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Saudi Aramco, the energy giant, has acquired Valvoline Inc., a US-based oil company, for $2.65 billion
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh
Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani bid in for 100% of Manchester United
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
Saray Street in Hatay-Antakya before and after the earthquake
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake