Saudi Aramco entrepreneurship arm inks deal to help start-ups in Madinah

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Wa’ed, Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurial arm, has signed an agreement with Taibah Valley Company (TVC), an emerging Saudi center for artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain development, to help startups support in Medina.

As part of the deal, Wa’ed, Wa’ed Ventures, TVC startups’ venture capital fund will look into potential incubations and investments.

The announcement comes as Wa’ed continues to build the kingdom’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through alliances.

In December, she signed an agreement with Namaa Almunawara, the Mecca economic development agency, and in November, Wa’ed signed an agreement with Oqal, the angel investor network in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The pacts are designed to share opportunities and resources and promote entrepreneurs whose disruptive products and solutions close gaps in the Saudi economy, according to a statement.

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Taibah Valley Company was founded in 2008 and launched the Madinah region’s first blockchain development lab in 2018.

The new agreement with Wa’ed will promote and potentially fund some of the 16 startups active at TVC, including five in blockchain applications.

Blockchain is a decentralized way of organizing information and services that gives users more control over data. The technology was popularized by Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency based on blockchain principles. TVC’s other tech startups focus on AI, IoT, augmented and virtual reality, e-commerce, healthcare, retail and retail solutions.

“We are very excited to be working with Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship of Saudi Aramco, who will hopefully expand the commercial opportunities for startups in one of the kingdom’s most dynamic hubs for blockchain, AI and IoT development,” he said Dr. Jaber Faraj Almutairi, Managing Director of the Taibah Valley Company.

#Waed continues to support the expansion of the kingdom’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through strategic alliances. Today we signed an MoU with @TaibahValley, one of the leading hubs for #blockchain, #IoT and #AI in Saudi Arabia, to improve support for entrepreneurs in Medina. pic.twitter.com/J9qi3t363n— Wa’ed | واعد (@AramcoEC) March 2, 2021

Wassim Basrawi, General Manager of Wa’ed, said, “We are proud to partner with Taibah Valley Company to bring greater visibility and market access to a growing network of entrepreneurs and startups in Medina. We see tremendous opportunities in digital transformation, and TVC is promoting these technologies through specialized technology development pathways. ”

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Wa’ed Ventures will partner with Taibah Valley to screen and evaluate startups that are raising venture capital or loan financing, provide virtual incubation and mentoring to entrepreneurs, and connect them to the Wa’ed ecosystem.

The Taibah Valley, in turn, will create promising funding opportunities to help Wa’ed portfolio companies access and expand in Medina, and provide entrepreneurs with a dedicated workspace.