Map of Kuwait Startup Ecosystem
Kuwait’s entrepreneurship scene is vibrant and has gained momentum since the announcement of the $7B Kuwait National Fund for SMEs in 2013. As apparent in the ecosystem map, the market has witnessed a surge in entrepreneurship support and institutions: funds, co-working spaces, angels and investors. This was further inspired by the $170 million acquisition of Kuwait's Talabat.com, which marks the largest regional exit since Yahoo! Maktoob in 2009.
The Kuwaiti ecommerce market was estimated at $1.26B in 2015 according to Payfort. Coupled with high GDP & a 91% Internet Penetration Rate, the opportunity for growth of online goods and service providers, as well as mobile transactions, is very high.
Kuwait has a population of 4.2 million, of which an estimated 67% are youth, therefore, it’s not surprising that Social Media penetration in Kuwait is at 96% (one of the highest globally), while Kuwait leads in MENA, on platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Kuwait is also home to GCC’s most affluent online influencers.
ArabNet is headed to Kuwait on October 4th and 5th for the first time to host a 2-day conference, focused on the Kuwaiti and GCC market, highlighting local trends, opportunities, startups and rising stars.
The 2-day conference will consist of the TechFair, an exhibition area for leading digital companies and rising startups to connect, in addition to a full day of keynotes and panels covering digital media topics focused on technology in media and advertising influencers, brands and new age marketing; eBusiness topics will cover mobile enterprise, digital banking, and the state of ecommerce in Kuwait, topics that will be also discussed related to technology are the latest hardware technology and innovations, retail mobile platforms, and gaming, in addition to the landscape of entrepreneurs’ supporters in Kuwait.
ArabNet Kuwait will also hold a full day of workshops and discussions on parallel tracks dedicated to entrepreneurs and marketers. The workshops focus on building skills and expertise in addition to delving into the latest and hottest topics in media & entrepreneurship with market leaders.
Also two competitions will be held at ArabNet Kuwait, the Ideathon competition for entrepreneurs with innovative digital ideas that have not been built, giving them the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality, and the Startup Demo competition for entrepreneurs with innovative digital young startups less than two years old, giving them the opportunity to showcase their company and network with investors and the media.