KAUST concludes the first of their three bootcamps in support of the Tech Champions program

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is organizing three bootcamps for entrepreneurs, in support of the Tech Champions program by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). The first bootcamp has concluded and lasted for five days, featuring over 100 participants and mentors at the KAUST campus in Thuwal for intensive training.

The bootcamps are being considered as the first step in the Tech Champions program designed to accomplish the Kingdom’s mission to form a digital economy. The focal point is creating digital business solutions in industries like health, e-commerce and smart cities, along with entertain, sports and Hajj.

The entrepreneurs have worked with mentors through training sessions at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, by developing their startup ideas. The mentors helped them with suggestions and workshops along with providing them with access to latest innovation trends.

The event concluded with a mock showcase competition where the entrepreneurs were give two minutes each to pitch their tech startup ideas to an audience, followed by three minutes of Q&A sessions and another three minutes of judge feedbacks.

The startups also got benefitted by having exposure to more than 40 partners in the public and private sectors of the Kingdom.

“This is a fantastic initiative in partnership with MCIT to challenge young people to go beyond digital technologies and look at emerging and deep technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. We are helping them learn how to apply these to create the businesses of the future,” Kevin Cullen, vice president for innovation and economic development at KAUST told Arab News.

MCIT and KAUST share common goals to support the Kingdom’s ambitions of going through digital transformation to become one of the top global entrepreneurial hubs.

Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology industry and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “The rapid evolutions in the use of artificial intelligence systems, robotics, IoT and large data, force us to assess and bridge the current existing and the future digital skills gap in the Kingdom.”

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