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Techstars, Saudi National Bank and MCIT Announce Two Founder Catalyst Programs in Saudi Arabia

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JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Techstars, the world’s most active pre-seed investor, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) and the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), announced today the launch of two Techstars Founder Catalyst programs in Jeddah and Al Ahsa. The first edition of the programs will aim at supporting founders across various industries in honing their entrepreneurial skills, better understand their target customers, and dig deeply into the innovative solutions they are offering.

The Techstars Founder Catalyst Jeddah / Al Ahsa is a 10-week hybrid program with two distinct cohorts based out of Jeddah and Al Ahsa in Saudi Arabia. The program invites early-stage founders from all industries, with a preference for founders in media tech, from across the world to participate and shape the future of the Kingdom’s startup ecosystem.

“Saudi Arabia has an emerging and dynamic startup community,” said Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet. “We’ve seen firsthand the power of nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems through our existing Riyadh Techstars Accelerator. In the Techstars spirit of helping entrepreneurs succeed, we will empower even more entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia through our Founder Catalyst in partnership with SNB and MCIT.”

Both programs will run in a hybrid format from September to November (Jeddah) / December (Al Ahsa) 2023 and provide more than 50 founders with valuable masterclasses, mentorship, community and access to Techstars’ worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and partners. Founders will also receive support from Saudi National Bank’s and the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s (MCIT) vast technology and business expertise across a variety of business units.

Applications for both Founder Catalyst programs are now open.

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Past Techstars Founder Catalyst programs have resulted in hundreds of business and investor connections and seeded countless relationships between participants and mentors. By providing introductions to world-class resources and education, Techstars helps participants dramatically increase their chances of success.

Techstars Program Manager, Emilie Vallauri, said “I am thrilled to be working alongside our partners the Saudi National Bank and the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to foster a vibrant and dynamic startup and media technologies ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and the broader MENA region. At Techstars, we support and nurture ecosystems and we lay the foundation for a future where groundbreaking media technologies emerge.”

“Entrepreneurship that is built on technology and innovation is essential to achieving Vision 2030, the roadmap for social change and economic diversification that guides our country. 70% of the population is under the age of twenty. These people are our digital natives, and we want to capitalize on their enthusiasm and curiosity to innovate faster,” stated Abdullah Alshamrani, GM of center of digital Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MCIT).

Ms. Basma Aljawhari, Head of CSR at the Saudi National Bank, stated: “SNB is committed to supporting and developing young entrepreneurs, encouraging them to pursue their business ventures and launch their own successful projects. This will contribute to the growth of the national economy and progress development in keeping with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. In order to foster innovation and build capacities, the Bank established a number of business accelerators. As a result, Saudi nationals now have more employment opportunities around the Kingdom. The goals of this partnership align with SNB’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, which promote entrepreneurs interested in technology.”

All early-stage founders – especially in media tech – are encouraged to apply until 13 August, 2023 (Jeddah) or 27 August, 2023 (Al Ahsa). Early applications are prioritized. Any questions? Contact us

About Techstars

Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 3,700 companies that have a combined market cap of $99 billion. Founded in 2006, Techstars believes that entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to invest in an unprecedented number of startups per year enabling more capital to flow to more entrepreneurs around the world. We do this by operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, as well as by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities.

About Saudi National Bank (SNB):

The Saudi National Bank (SNB) is the largest financial institution in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest powerhouses in the region. SNB plays a vital role in supporting economic transformation in Saudi Arabia by transforming the local banking sector and catalyzing the delivery of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Its strategy is closely aligned with the Vision’s programs. SNB also leverages its position as the largest institutional and specialized financier in the Kingdom to support the Kingdom’s landmark deals and mega projects. SNB’s vision is to be a premier financial and banking service provider locally and regionally through the fulfilment of strategic aspirations: to be number one in revenues, number one in profit, the best in customer service, the best digital bank, and the employer of choice, and the best Shariah-compliant products service provider in the world. SNB pays huge attention to entrepreneurs thus creating programs aims to develop, train and support entrepreneurs with distinct ideas in Saudi Arabia by attracting, embracing, and financing entrepreneurs and providing them with the skills, expertise, and resources necessary to build their projects and establish sustainable, flourishing, and influential companies. For more information, please visit:

About the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT):

MCIT is responsible for building a robust and cutting-edge digital architecture so that digital transformation accelerates and thus supports the orientations of the Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to promote the information and communication technology sector’s role in order to build a digital society, a digital government, a thriving digital economy, and an innovative future for the Kingdom.


Techstars Contact:
Amalia Lytle