Riyadh, 25 March 2018: Roland Berger, a leading global consulting firm of German heritage, is seeking to foster the growing number of entrepreneurs in KSA, as it supports the first German-Saudi Startup Competition held in Riyadh this month, an event organized by The German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO).
The ten best startups got the opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of the members of the local German Business Community and a high-ranked jury including H.R.H Johara Nint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the German Ambassador, H.E. Dieter W. Haller, GESALO Delegate Oliver Oehms, leading local entrepreneurs, and investors, including Kushal Shah, Managing Partner for the Middle East at Roland Berger and Investment Committee Member of Dubai Angel Investors (DAI), the region’s largest venture capital company. The competition was open for Saudi startups founded in 2015 or later, in the fields of tech innovation and social entrepreneurship.
The two winners Abdullah Asiri and Basim Albeldi secured a four-day startup tour in Germany. As a particular highlight, the startups will get the chance to pitch at the MENA Business Forum in the presence of special guests such as H.E. Khaled Juffali and leading businessmen in Berlin on April 12, 2018. During the visit, the winners will also get a chance to experience the vibrant startup ecosystem in Berlin, as well as meetings with successful German founders, investors, and experts, and a visit to Roland Berger's Berlin-based "Spielfeld Digital Hub", a corporate innovation hub that bridges the gap between the startup and corporate world.
Kushal Shah, Managing Partner for the Middle East at Roland Berger commented, "The number of startups is growing at a faster rate than ever before in the region and entrepreneurship is becoming center stage in KSA in particular, in line with its Vision 2030. The role of Monsha'at in particular, the Small and Medium Enterprise Authority, has been key in fostering the growth of this ecosystem. At Roland Berger, entrepreneurship is part of our DNA and we are delighted to be supporting the first German Saudi Start Up Competition in Riyadh, given our strong connect with both geographies. We look forward to hosting the winners at Spielfeld Digital Hub in Berlin, our German corporate innovation hub, next month. We are indeed proud to help Saudi entrepreneurs kick start their careers through our vast network and expertise. These entrepreneurs are eyeing global opportunities, allowing them to deep dive into Berlin’s vibrant startup ecosystem will be highly beneficial for their future”.
The event, supported by Roland Berger and other prominent regional players, was organized by The German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) in cooperation with the German Embassy in Riyadh.
Oliver Oehms, Delegate of German Industry & Commerce for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen added, “We offer young Saudi entrepreneurs a platform to connect to industry leaders, experienced investors, and potential new customers from Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf region. Small and medium-sized companies and innovative business ideas are the key drivers of the German economy and a growing sector in Saudi Arabia. We intend to support young Saudi startups with our network and know-how.”
Roland Berger, with 2,400 employees operating from 34 countries, is the only leading global consultancy of German heritage and European origin. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 220 Partners. In the Middle East, Roland Berger is very active, especially in the public sector, energy, telecom, transportation and financial services.
About Roland Berger
Roland Berger, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy of German heritage and European origin. With 2,400 employees working from 34 countries, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Our 50 offices are located in the key global business hubs. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 220 Partners. For more information: rolandberger.com
About Spielfeld Digital Hub
Spielfeld Digital Hub is a best-in class innovation hub for corporates and startups. We offer beautifully designed co-working spaces, an exclusive community of innovators, network of makers, engaging event & workshop formats and tailored services to support the digital transformation of corporates. Here at Spielfeld we bring together the established with the new to share perspectives, capabilities and encourage cross-industry collaboration. Spielfeld was founded by Roland Berger & Visa Inc. which gives us access to a broad range of industry expertise, digital entrepreneurship and strategic expertise, enabling us to help those that pass through our doors to win the game of digital transformation. For more information: www.spielfeld.com
About Kushal Shah
Kushal Shah is the Managing Partner for Roland Berger Middle East. Dubai-based, he joined the firm in 2011, leading the telecommunications business in the Middle East and also working with several large telecommunications clients across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Kushal is a Member of the Investment Committee of the region’s largest venture capital company. Prior to joining Roland Berger, he spent 12 years with a leading consultancy in London and Dubai. He studied Economics at Cambridge in the UK.