BIAC Continues to Support Startups in Meeting Coronavirus Challenges
The support activities include remote workshops and counseling sessions, as well as several online meetings to discuss the most salient issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurial projects.
Business Incubators and Accelerators Company (BIAC), a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has launched multiple support functions for Saudi entrepreneurs and startups to address the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the expected negative financial impact.
The support activities include remote workshops and counseling sessions, as well as several online meetings to discuss the most salient issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurial projects. The move is in line with BIAC’s steadfast commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and startups in its accelerators and incubators operated across the Kingdom.
In this context, BIAC hosted direct lectures and working sessions in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, to support entrepreneurs and professionals, discussing various topics; the most prominent of which was how startups could face the current challenges by developing and updating their business models.
The two BIAC-operated Rowad Tech Accelerators in Jeddah and Dammam organized a number of remote lectures and counseling sessions to track the progress of startups, with the participation of 38 projects in 114 hours of virtual meetings.
The Rowad Tech Accelerator in Jeddah completed more than 70 remote counseling sessions, benefiting 22 projects in 54 hours of development, reviewing the important current challenges such as the work on developing and updating business models and primary products.
The activities provided by the Rowad Technology Accelerator in Dammam included remote counseling sessions, along with follow-up of the progress of the accelerator’s 16 projects in sessions spanning over 60 hours. In addition, the accelerator organized the first and second weekly virtual meetings to present the most critical issues faced by startups.
The accelerator hosted several financial and legal advisors to help entrepreneurs understand the necessary steps to be taken during this challenging period as well as holding remote workshops on market entry strategies.
In the same context, the Saudi Water Innovation Center (SWIC), operated by BIAC, organized remote meetings with its incubators to follow up on the latest developments of their projects and requests. It held workshops and counseling sessions on several topics, including 3D printing, how to excel in it, and the role of reverse engineering in localizing the industry.
Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO of BIAC, commented: “Due to the growing outbreak of novel coronavirus, it is highly important to support startups and small and medium enterprises whose financial resources are usually limited, unlike large organizations. We are aware of the number of challenges and obstacles facing companies in light of the pandemic, and we will spare no effort to continue to support the entrepreneurial community to overcome this crisis.”
Al-Sahhaf noted that the various initiatives and the stimulus packages provided by the government, which aims to help these companies overcome the severe market conditions, ensure the continuity of businesses, save jobs and, indirectly, supports economic growth.
BIAC will increase the support provided to the entrepreneurial community, calling for cooperation and redoubling the efforts to get out of this crisis with the fewest possible losses.
“The government’s stimulus packages will support the entrepreneurial environment in general, and this, in turn, will contribute to creating various future programs, which can be implemented by startup support actors. These packages will contribute to providing numerous opportunities and ensuring business sustainability of many entrepreneurial projects,” Al-Sahhaf concluded.
Established in 2017, BIAC aims to operate and manage entrepreneurship support platforms, innovation and technology transfer programs, in addition to project management, specialized consultancy, training services and human resource capacity building.
Saudi Arabia saw a record amount of startup funding and deals in 2019 and continues to grow as one of MENA's thriving startup ecosystems. Find out more details on how it is getting there in our new 2019 Saudi Arabia Venture Investment Report.