They include Halal Innovation Digital, TAQADAM Startup Accelerator and Flat6Labs Jeddah
For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.
Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!
There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces.
For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.
Here are some of the accelerators seeking founders in the Middle East:
"A Halal-focussed accelerator program designed to cater for startups that develop Innovative Digital solutions for the Halal industry and Shariah Compliant Products; Food, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Health Products, Toiletries and Medical Devices, and also service sector components such as Logistics, Marketing, Print and Electronic, Packaging, Branding and Financing."
Investment amount: Up to USD70K SEED funding
- Office space
- Event venues
- Conference rooms
- Marketing and PR resources
- Back end support facilities
Portfolio companies: Not specified
"TAQADAM is a Saudi Arabian startup accelerator for ideas that are pushing the boundaries of science and technology. Over the course of 6-months, we help aspiring entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market through mentorship and training in topics such as ideation, product design, marketing and fundraising."
Investment amount: Accepted teams receive SR 75,000 in grant-funding. At the completion of the program, selected graduates are eligible for zero-equity follow on funding up to SR 375,000.
- Access to co-working office, prototyping lab and incubator space.
- Up to SR 75,000 of zero-equity grant funding based on completion of milestones + chance to pitch for follow-on funding.
- Innovation and startup training: value proposition, business model development, design thinking, investor pitching.
- Product testing and prototyping support where possible.
- Exposure to KAUST’s existing network of partners, potential clients, and investors including the KAUST Innovation Fund.
Portfolio companies: CapTask, Daffoor, Elevn Elevn, Waqood, Core Echo
"An exclusive international, coveted accelerator program here in the MENA region!"
Investment amount: Startups that have been accepted into the program will receive $150,000 in investment for 5% equity, and will pay a $15,000 tuition fee.
Program benefits: We are staffed with internationally renowned growth mentors onsite at all times. Our mentors will challenge you and work intensely with you to track your company’s key metrics and progress. They will help you uncover new channels and identify untapped opportunities.
Mentor makeup: Sharif El-Badwai, Nate Gilmore, Andy Young, Mat Johnson
Portfolio companies: ADGS, MaktApp, Buseet, Garment IO
"Flat6Labs Jeddah fosters and invests in bright and passionate Saudi entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas. Launched in 2013, Flat6Labs Jeddah assists and encourages entrepreneurs throughout the critical first steps of development. The target for the accelerator program is to graduate 15 successful and scalable startup businesses each year."
Investment amount: Flat6Labs Jeddah contributes as a founding partner that starts with the startups’ first steps on the road to success with 12.5-15% stake equity while providing various services that will contribute to the development of the company and its leadership
Program benefits: We support our startups through a vast network of entities, educational institutions, advisors, coaches and investors. Once a team is selected to join the Flat6Labs Jeddah Accelerator program, they receive seed-funding (50,000-80,000 SAR), strategic mentorship, office-space, a multitude of perks and services from partners (over $300,000+), and entrepreneurship-focused business training and workshops.
Portfolio companies: Kanoosh, Mother and Child, Sawerly
"We invest in Jordan’s startup founders and set them up for success!"
Investment amount: Investment ticket sizes $30k-100k against equity
Program benefits: Oasis500 provides managerial services including office space, accounting, auditing and legal support; in addition to discounted services from its partners.
Portfolio companies: ViaVii, Repzo, MadfooatCom, Abjjad
"We provide mentorship and capital to high potential, innovative Bahraini entrepreneurs who have reached the stage of viability in their business journey. Through the support and mentorship provided by our Angel shareholders, all of whom are reputable businessmen and entrepreneurs, we look to give these new entrepreneurs the greatest chance of success."
Investment amount: $50K per team for 20% equity
Program benefits: Not specified
Portfolio companies: uTrack, Eat, Maleab, Fish.me
"The GeeXelerator is an intensive 16-week pre-seed acceleration program that aims to help teams build a usable product with only the most essential core features, validate the core product feature with users, launch the feature online for public use, and scale their product’s user base."
Investment amount: Not specified
Program benefits: Each week, teams work on a set of outputs or deliverables that will build on each other week after week to ensure you are making progress. At the end of each week, teams must submit the deliverables to the GeeXelerator program staff for review and assessment in a Google Sheets workbook. The staff provides feedback and a numeric grade indicating the quality of the deliverables to let teams know if they are on track or not.
To move from one phase to the next, teams must adequately pass a major milestone such as launching online and pitching to GeeXelerator staff. Week to week grades and feedback are to provide guidance to teams to let them know if they are on track.
At the beginning of each week, local or International mentors will deliver 2-4 hours of workshops at GSG’s office on the theme of that week’s deliverables to help participants understand the theme of that week’s work. In addition, teams will have access to weekly office hours with GSG staff and local and international mentors to ask questions and get feedback throughout the week.
The GeeXelerator Program will culminate with a demo day where remaining teams who have passed the program milestones have the opportunity to pitch to potential investors, as well as potentially travel to regional startup competitions such as RiseUp Summit.
Portfolio companies: Akelapp, Grape, Khzanty, CarCleaner, Hera
(Image source: geopoliticalfutures.com)