The Misk Foundation, founded by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, launched its Growth Accelerator this week in partnership with Seedstars and venture capital firm Vision Ventures.
The accelerator program is expected to provide support to 11 tech startups based in MENA, giving them the tools that will help enable them to scale and take their businesses to the next level.
Misk’s Entrepreneurship Director, Osama AlRaee, said in his statement that the Growth Accelerator hopes to fill the void in the eco-system by working with later stage startups with a clear focus on their growth.
Vision Ventures and Seedstars will collectively invest up to $100,000 which can later lead to a follow-on investments of up to $1 million, along with support and mentorship for the selected tech companies.
Out of over 450 applicants, 11 MENA-based tech startups were selected for the program including:
- Caramella, a platform to easily publish pages, blogs and websites online with full Arabic support.
- Geeks, a managed IT services provider that links businesses' 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.
The Chief Investment Officer at Seedstars, Charlie Graham-Brown gave a statement regarding the program saying, “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.”
The accelerator program will last until December and was designed for companies which were looking to scale up while already having a monthly revenue coming in. It will offer three on-site bootcamps as well as a hybrid program to the selected start-ups which involves mentorship from in-house and external growth experts on key areas including talent management, leadership and fundraising strategy.