Saudi’s SDAIA begins Data, AI accelerator program for startups in Kingdom

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) has launched an accelerator program to support regional startups to grow their businesses and investments and to attract global talent to the Kingdom.

The Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) program has begun enrollment in the first edition, which focuses on smart cities through a three-month intensive training course in Riyadh. SDAIA stated that it aims to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem, diversify the economy and enhance digital transformation in order to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

The accelerator program will go through three phases. The first phase will include the registration of startups and their selection for Challenge Day. In the second stage, the selected startups will enter the Challenge Day, where the projects and innovative solutions will be reviewed to pick ten startups to enter the accelerator program.

In the third phase, the chosen startups will enter the three-month accelerator program, which includes training workshops, events and incentives, ending with a Demo Day. The participating startups will showcase their projects developed during the program to potential investors to obtain financial support.

Dr. Abdullah Alghamdi, SDAIA’s President, said, “At SDAIA, we work to enhance the accelerators’ ecosystem in the Kingdom by targeting local and international startups in the field of Data and AI, we are determined to place the Kingdom at the forefront of data and AI enabling countries.”

The launch of the Smart City Accelerator is driven by the support of the Crown Prince, the Chairman of SDAIA’s Board of Directors Prince Muhammad bin Salman to Authority’s initiatives and programs that contribute to achieving the Vision 2030 objectives.

Further, Dr. Alghamdi encouraged innovators with creative data and AI-based solutions to join this program, develop unique solutions designed to serve smart cities, and contribute to elevating the Kingdom’s ranking in Smart City indicators to become among the top five countries in the field of AI.

Dr. Mishari Almishari, Deputy Director of the National Information Center (NIC) and CEO of the Strategy Management Office at SDAIA, said that “the accelerator program is one of SDAIA’s initiatives in cooperation with Plug and Play, to accelerate startups growth in the field of data and AI.”

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