Wahidoon Takes First Place at Conclusion of Start Up Weekend Taif

ArabNet Team, Sep 06 2016

Al Taif Image via Shutterstock

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King Abdulaziz City for Science and technology (KACST) concluded last month, the first Start Up Weekend Taif, which was part of the 10th Annual Souq Okaz that is organized every summer in the city of Taif. The BADIR program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, a Saudi national program launched by KACST in 2007, was tasked with organizing the event for the purpose of accelerating the growth of the emerging technology-based businesses in Saudi Arabia.

303 Saudi innovators, developers, coders, engineers, and marketers brought forth progressive ideas – 62 of which made it to the next teams’ stage before 15 teams qualified for the finals. The exercise brings together idea owners, who work with the help of mentors and coaches during the weekend on developing solid business models and prototypes in an interactive environment where the youth with special entrepreneurial ideas work side by side with pioneering entrepreneurs.

The first day started with the introduction of ideas in 60 seconds. The participants were invited to vote and ultimately choose the teams that will work on progressing those suggested ideas. On the second day, the teams worked on prototypes, programming, designing, and investigating the marketing potentials with the follow-up and supervision of experts in various fields for guidance. On the last day, a panel of expert judges gave their evaluation and selected the winners.

Nouf, Raghd, and Ohoud Al Hammad won first place for their project Wahidoon (Translation: ‘One & only’) which is an application to enhance communication and interaction with autistic children through icons and sounds indicating feelings. Second place went to Ayman Qassem and Bilal Hafas for their voice commentator platform Mic On while Ibrahim Al Ajlan, Ibrahim Al Qassim, and Saad Al Ouseimi took third place for their project Sallih (Translation: Fix it)

The event aimed at activating the startup movement in the Saudi society and enhancing the communication and interaction among participants as well as exchanging experiences and experiments to firmly advance promising tech projects.

Start Up weekend is one of the biggest events for startup enthusiasts in the world as it has been organized nearly three thousand times in over 150 cities around the world. It has been organized in the past years in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Gazan, with winners becoming active startup companies that today generate revenue and contribute to the Kingdom’s private sector. 

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