09-11 July 2020 Online Startup Weekend Saudi Arabia Unite to Fight COVID-19 The Ministry of Education and Techstars in Saudi Arabia are calling all local entrepreneurs with an idea to tackle the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Here
8d 15h 30m days to go

Your Idea in 54 Hours!

The Ministry of Education and Techstars in Saudi Arabia are calling all local entrepreneurs with an idea to tackle the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Techstars Startup Weekend Online takes the best of our in-person experience and amplifies it with the scope and reach of the best digital tools available. As you work, you’ll meet the very best mentors, investors, and sponsors — all the people who are ready to help you refine your idea.

Participants will work together from home, spend the 54h of fun and learning, pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype or demo, and present their businesses. The top 10 winners will be receiving a prize of $5,000 grant each to continue developing their businesses further!

Register and Submit Your Idea

Registration is free and open for anyone who is interested in given that they are residing or have lived inside Saudi Arabia.

When registering, participants can submit their idea for the selection committee.

Form a team

On the day of the kickoff, selected ideas will be announced and participants will form teams over Discord. Each team should have 4-10 members.

Work on Your Startup

The event will kick-off with opening remarks and our agenda will be shared live on Youtube.

The teams then start working, attending workshops, and having mentorship sessions with international and local mentors.

Pitch Your Idea

On Saturday afternoon, the team will submit a video recording of their pitch for the judging panel to select the winners. The panel will vote for the top 10 teams who will receive $5,000 grants each.

Top 10 winning pitch videos will be presented live Youtube during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday.



Create alternative learning environments and tools for students, teachers, and entire school systems using a wide range of technologies to allow for greater flexibility and access to education. Can you revolutionize the ways students access educational materials or the ways educators deliver them?


Address and scale a range of health initiatives, including preventative/hygiene behaviors (especially for at-risk countries and populations), supporting frontline health workers, scaling telemedicine, contact tracing/containment strategies, treatment and diagnosis development. Can you create an effective approach to health initiatives across all sectors?


Define the set of problems that businesses are facing to stay afloat, collaborate effectively, and move parts of their business online. Suggest revenue generating alternatives and solutions to ensure that the recovery process goes smoothly and with high efficiency. Can you help businesses deal with the ambiguity of the crisis and mitigate the risks of the future?

Entertainment & Tourism

Create alternatives to traditional forms of entertainment that can keep the talent and audiences safe and healthy. Help bring innovative ideas to support the tourism sector and tourists visiting Saudi Arabia. Can you build more innovative models for the entertainment or tourism industries?


If you’ve ever been to a Techstars Startup Weekend, you know it’s one of the most thrilling weekends you could imagine. You experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressures that makeup life at a startup.

Day One


7:00 pm - Official launching ceremony 8:00 pm - Announcing selected ideas 8:20 pm - Networking / Icebreaker 8:30 pm - Team formation begin on Discord
Day Two


3:00 pm - Team Registration deadline 5:00 pm - Thursday Kick Off by Event Facilitator 5:30 pm - Teams begin to work
Day Three


9:00 am - Teams continue to work on ideas 10:00 am - Workshop session (optional) 1:30 pm - Friday Kick-Off by Event Facilitator 2:00-8:00 pm - Mentoring Sessions 8:00 pm - Team check-in with facilitator
Day Four


9:00 am - Mentoring sessions 1:00 pm - Team check-in with facilitator 2:00 pm - Deadline for submitting the final presentation 2:00-3:45 pm - Workshop Sessions (optional) 7:00 pm - Virtual Demo Day & 10 winning teams announcement 8:00 pm - Awards Ceremony (optional)


Judges Mentors Organizers

Pro. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Shemimry

General Manager of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at MoE,
Ministry of Education

Dr. Abdulkarim Alsamaani

Consultant and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at MoE,
Ministry of Education

Ali Abukumail

Senior Private Sector Specialist,
The World Bank

Amal Dokhan

Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi

Fouad Alnazawi

Managing Partner,
Lamarka Consulting Services

Dr. Deema Alathel

Strategy Leader,

Emon Shakoor

Founder & CEO, Blossom Accelerator,
Blossom Accelerator

Hani Enaya

Head of Venture Capital,
Sanabil Investments

Omar Christidis

Founder and CEO,

Abdulla Elyas


Fouad Alnazawi

Managing Partner,
Lamarka Consulting Services

Dania Ismail

Director of Strategy and Business Development,

Racha Ghamlouch

Chief Aggregator,
Digital Digest

Feryal Abduallah Aloumi

Researcher in Resources and Social Development,
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development

Chris Heivly

VP Innovation,

Scott Ford

Chief Operating Officer,

David Brown


Jose Iglesias

Senior Director of Community Programs,

Hamoud Alnughaymishi

Business Developer,
Badir Program

Sohail Alrazeen


Dania Shahin

Program Manager,
Techstars | Hub71

Motaz Hajaj

Business Development Director,

Saleem Najjar


Sal Lucido

Co-founder, Executive VP,

Mohammed Almousa

Content Specialist and TV Presenter,

Mustafa Faisal Ahmed

Founder, Ascend E-Ventures & Lecturer,
Ascend E-Ventures

Alawya Monqel

Founder, Ascend E-Ventures & Lecturer,

Talal Alhashim

Innovation Businesses Development Manager,

Turki Al Toaimi

Founder, Ascend E-Ventures & Lecturer,

Ramzy Ismail

Network Manager EMEA,

Kristina Rodriguez

Corporate Innovation & Ecosystem Development,

Lalitha Wemel

Regional Director (APAC), Community,

Majed Rashad


Abduelah Altowayan


Ali Alwabel

Director of Corporate Communication,

Jaber Alhashel

Spending Efficiency (CSE)

Gary Jinks

Managing Director,
South Valley Angels

Abdullah Asiri

Founder & CEO,

Vijay Tirathrai

Managing Director,
Techstars | Hub71

Ahmad Al Gusair


Yousif ALAmri

Board President and Acting Executive Director,
SSME, Saudi society of medication education

Dr. Sufana AlMashhadi

Director of Innovation Center,
King Fahad Medical City

Eng. Majed Aldaham

Business Development Consultant,
DevSpace Co.

Sami Al-Ahmad

Founder & CEO,

Nawara Alosaimi

Design strategist,

Maha Alfozan


Ali Alqadeeb

Executive Director,
DevSpace Co.

Mashal Waqar

Cofounder and COO,
The Tempest

Natalie Sleiman

Partner, Head of Technology & Professional Services Practice - Middle East,
Stanton Chase International

Melda Akin


Hussain A. Alghamdi

Consultant / Coach,
Youth Leadership Community - YLC

Mustafa Abdullah

Lamarka Consulting services

Shaima Almuhsin

Product Design,

Karim Samakie

SME and Startups Consultant,
World Bank Group

Mohammed Alomar


Nawaf Alghamdi

Customer Success Manager,

Bayan Mortada

Entrepreneurship Senior Specialist,
Ministry of Education

Omar Alshabaan

The Space

Mazen Saad Algarni

Entrepreneur Senior Specialist,
Ministry of Education

Laura Toma

Grey Matter Education

Majid Ahmed Alsuwaigh

Wafa insurance com

Manal Abdulrazaq Khan

Consulting & mentoring for Development and entrepreneurship,

Mohammed Alqahtani

Senior Manager at Elm,
Elm Co

Tarun Krishna

Chief Business Officer,

Joud Tanta

Graphic designer & Illustrator,

Dulce Lada

Marketing Manager,

Mohamed Nawaz

Operations Manager,
Gothams - Hub71

Andrew Yip

Manager, Food Digital,

Naeem Sayes

Digital Marketeer,

Usman Bashir

Tech Consultant, Software Engineer, Educator,
General Assembly

Aya Sader

Entrepreneur | Tedx Speaker | Facilitator ,

Carlos Melo

Product Manager,
Ounass | Al Tayer Group

Omar AL Lelah

Transformation Communication Specialist,


Top 10 Teams All Participants

$5000 (SAR 18,750) Grant

$5000 grant per winning team provided by Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia to continue developing business ideas further.

Google Cloud Platforms.

$300 free credit per participant on Google Cloud Platform helps startups build web/mobile apps.
Teams can use Google Trends + Market Finder to test if there is a growing demand for their product and in which markets.

Free Neustar Domain

Free Neustar Domain each participant can register a free domain name with Neustar using your country-specific code. Redemption codes will be given to participants by the organising team.

Google Cloud Platforms

$300 free credit per participant on Google Cloud Platform helps startups build web/mobile apps.
Teams can use Google Trends + Market Finder to test if there is a growing demand for their product and in which markets.

Free Neustar Domain

Free Neustar Domain each participant can register a free domain name with Neustar using your country-specific code. Redemption codes will be given to participants by the organising team.

Certificates of Attendance

All participants will be receiving a certificate of appreciation after completing the whole event experience presented by Techstars and Ministry of Education.


In Collaboration with

Global Partners


Can I join if I live outside of Saudi Arabia?

Participants must be based in Saudi Arabia or have been a resident of Saudi Arabia.

What is the idea selection criteria?

• Present and unique idea targeting the Saudi market
• Fit the challenges (Health, Education, Businesses, Entertainment, Tourism)

Can I pitch my existing business?

Yes, all ideas that fit the challenges are welcome!

What if someone stole my idea?

The event is intended to be a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, and having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas shared by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community. If you as a participant are worried about someone stealing your ideas, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.

The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea.

The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched at any given Techstars Startup Weekend have already been pitched - probably many times - in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”.

Can I join with my team?

Yes but each member must register individually.

Do I have to participate all three days?

Apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams.

However, at most Techstars Startup Weekends a “Sunday Presentations Only” registration option is available for those wishing to only view the teams’ final presentations.

How do I prepare?

Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the problem you're trying to solve.

Download and get familiar with our tools for the weekend (Discord and Youtube Live).

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.

How do teams address the issue of Intellectual Property/ownership?

As with any startup, the team decides. Techstars Startup Weekend doesn’t support or take part in the signing of any legal documents at the events themselves, and while Mentors with legal backgrounds are often present and able to give general advice, they are not permitted to give specific legal counsel.

While it doesn’t hurt to be clear about your individual expectations from the start, we’ve found that teams who don’t spend time addressing this issue until it actually matters (i.e., there is a tangible product to have ownership of) are much more productive and successful than those who do.

What are the judging criteria?

The judges will use the following criteria to review all pitches:

• Problem & Impact Is the solution they are proposing relevant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis? What is the value proposition to customers? Did the team talk to potential customers?

• Execution and Design Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Is the MVP designed well? Is the proposed product technically viable?

• Originality The project needs to create new solutions or apply existing solutions in a new, innovative way.

• Feasibility The project must be realistic in terms of the legal, technological and scientific aspects of the solution. It should be possible to realise the project within a few months (exceptions can be made for particularly impactful solutions with a long-term perspective)

• Business Model Does the project have the potential to become a real business? Does the solution solve a core need? Have they demonstrated a go to market strategy?

Take the Next Step

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