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ArabNet Riyadh 2017; Another Year of Success
Held under the patronage of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), ArabNet Riyadh 2017 wrapped up in success on December 13th. The 6th edition of the conference gathered over 1800 attendees and over 100 speakers from across the Kingdom, the region and the world.
The second day of ArabNet Riyadh 2017 set off with the launch of ArabNet’s latest report, “KSA Innovation Economy Report”. Mr. Omar Christidis, CEO, gave a brief introduction about the report which is designed for anyone interested in investing in the Saudi Arabian tech startup scene, from investors to entrepreneurs, and from government policy makers to corporate innovation executives.
The second day of ArabNet Riyadh 2017 featured the Digital Commerce Forum, and it proceeded with the forums of Day 1: Adtech and Innovation and Investment. The conference held 8 panels and an exclusive interview with the CEO of Souq.com, Ronaldo Mouchawar. The highlights included an interview with Faraz Khalid, Chief Executive Officer of Noon; chats with Walid Mansour, Managing Partner at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP); and keynotes by Critoe and Paytm. It also held the Creative Combat, taking place for the first time in Riyadh, where young marketeers showcase their digital marketing skills and was won by Koraspond team.
At the closing ceremony, the three winners of the Startup Battle were announced. Under the sponsorship of 9/10ths, 3 finalists were chosen as the top startups. Sadeem for Moustafa Osama Moussa, the world’s first multi-patented flood and traffic information system with active networks to save lives and money in realtime; Labayh for Bassem al-Baladi,a project that helps individuals suffering from family and psychology problemsand Autotash for Abdullah Bin Shamlan, which organizes the unorganized Spare Parts Industry in KSA in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The three winning startups will get the chance to participate in ArabNet Startup Championship taking place in Dubai at the ArabNet Digital Summit 2018 (April 30 - May 1). Furthermore, and with the sponsorship of The National Commercial Bank, Dolaby for Banan Sulaiman Al Rahili, an online shopping platform for new and pre-owned fashion items was announced as the Ideathon winner and received $5,000 as a seed grant to help them kick start their idea. In 2nd and 3rd place respectively were Ibrah for Noura Al Zahrani and Teller App for Ahmad Baismail, Mark.
ArabNet Riyadh is hosted by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), supported by Badir Program for Technology Incubators and sponsored by some of the Kingdom’s major companies, including the Strategic Sponsor, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and other sponsors like InspireU; Al Ahli Bank (NCB); Digital Media Services (DMS) and Al Khaleejiah.
ArabNet Riyadh was able to highlight the opportunities arising after the bold Vision 2030 plan and the fast-evolving digital economy in Saudi. The event featured four forums: Digital Transformation, Adtech, Innovation and Investment and Digital Commerce; with speakers from across the world and MENA region who discussed building the next digital frontier in one of MENA’s strongest markets. ArabNet will be hosting its next event in Beirut on February 20-22, 2018 and in Dubai on April 30 - May 1, 2018.