The Misk Foundation has launched its Growth Accelerator for MENA tech startups in partnership with Seedstars and Vision Ventures. The accelerator, targeted at startups with product/market fit that are looking to scale, kicked off on Sunday, September 8th, and will last until December 4th 2019.
Seedstars, the preeminent emerging market startup community and investor, and Vision Ventures, a renowned venture capital firm investing across MENA, will co-invest up to US$100,000 in the participating startups and consider follow-on investments of up to $1 million. With a clear focus on startups in their growth stage, three on-site bootcamps and a demo-day in Riyadh, the hybrid (virtual/on-site) program allows startups to stay close to their customers while benefiting from constant coaching from in-house and external growth experts.
“We’re delighted to have kicked off the first ever MENA batch of the Growth Accelerator. The program is filling a void in the ecosystem by working with slightly later stage startups and focusing on growth. I’m confident the knowledge and support delivered by Seedstars, Vision Ventures and all the mentors will give a real boost to the teams,” said Osama AlRaee, Entrepreneurship Director at Misk Foundation.
A total of 11 tech startups from MENA region were selected, originally from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Egypt. The participating startups are:
- Caramella, a platform to easily publish pages, blogs and websites online with full Arabic support.
- Geeks, a managed IT services provider that links businesse’s devices, gives users instant access to IT professionals and decreases maintenance costs.
- Mntrni, a platform that connects businesses with experts and specialists in various fields for digital mentoring sessions.
- Munjz, an online, on-demand marketplace for home services and related equipment.
- MyU, an app that creates a safe environment for school communities to connect, communicate and engage.
- Nakheel, an Internet of Things based solution to enable early detection of red palm weevil in palm trees.
- POSRocket, a modernized system to provide business owners with an intuitive, user-friendly, cloud-based point-of-sale (POS).
- Qidz, the first mobile platform in the Middle East to connect parents with vendors for children related fun, education and entertainment products and services.
- Shezlong, an online psychotherapy platform for Arab people to connect with licenced and qualified therapists in a private and anonymous way.
- Shroo7, an online learning platform with on-demand video courses created by teachers, for university students.
- Taskty, a leading online marketplace for home services.
Kais Al-Essa, Founding Partner and CEO of Vision Ventures said, “We are very excited to bring these 11 great companies from Saudi Arabia and the MENA region to the program. Each startup has a great product that we expect to see grow into a major player. They will benefit from the support from three renowned entities, Misk Innovation, Seedstars and Vision Ventures.”
The focus of the Growth Program is on helping startups with product/market fit to implement a process to deliver consistent high growth. The program participants will also receive coaching on other key topics such as talent management, leadership and fundraising strategy.
“With over 450 applications, we filtered down to 11 startups each with the key ingredients we need for the program: a quality team, product/market fit and a high growth opportunity. We aim to have all the teams adopt a growth process and a data driven culture of experimentation. Growth doesn’t come easily and the program will equip the teams with techniques and knowledge to crack this challenge,” remarked Charlie Graham-Brown, Chief Investment Officer of Seedstars.
Find more details about the Growth Accelerator on the official program website https://miskinnovation.org.sa/web/services/misk-growth-accelerator/