ArabNet returns to Riyadh this December

ArabNet is coming back to Riyadh this year with its three-day conference in December. The conference, that is one of the leading gatherings of startup and digital community of Saudi will highlight opportunities arising from Vision 2030, country’s grand plan to reduce dependence on oil. The event that will be held at Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski from 11th to 13th December, will also focus on the fast-evolving digital economy of Saudi.

ArabNet Riyadh will feature four forums: Digital Transformation, Adtech, Innovation & Investment, and Digital Commerce. Like previous editions of ArabNet, the conference will also feature Startup Battle and Ideathon – pitch competitions for operational startups and entrepreneurs with ideas. Creative Combat competition is a new addition to ArabNet that will give a chance to young marketers in the Kingdom to compete.

Another highlight of the conference will be its Prototype Day featuring different workshops for startup founders and entrepreneurs.

Digital Transformation Forum

The Digital Transformation Forum will be about discussions around the impact of Saudi National Transformation Program on the digital and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Some of the topics that will be discussed during the forum include the following:

  • Entrepreneurship Landscape in Today’s Kingdom
  • Government Digitization and Smarter Cities
  • Understanding Cyber Security: Threats and Opportunities
  • Tomorrow’s Transportation: Future of Mobility and Automotive

Adtech Forum

The Adtech Forum will discuss how brands, agencies, and publishers are adapting to the new platforms that are transforming consumer habits on mobile and web; what are the key trends that define the region. Following topics will be discussed during this forum.

  • Viewability, Ad Fraud, and Brand Safety
  • New tech in advertising: AI, chatbots, beacons, AR / VR
  • Ephemeral Content and Strategies for Content Creators
  • Understanding Programmatic and Distribution Technologies

Innovation and Investment Forum

Innovation and Investment Forum will feature a track focusing on investment landscape and another track on startup growth strategies and development. The topics that will be a part of this forum include the following.

  • Corporate Startup Innovation (CSI)
  • Startup Valuations and the VC perspective
  • Scaling Startups: Growth capital, team development, and M&A
  • Engaging LPs and high-net-worth individuals in startup funding
  • ICOs and blockchain impact on funding

Digital Commerce Forum

The last forum, Digital Commerce will highlight latest trends of the online and mobile commerce in Saudi & rest of MENA. The forum will also discuss the financial technologies that could change the fact of global financial transaction. Some of the topics that will come under discussion include:

  • Trends and Innovation in Financial Technology
  • Mobile banking, mobile wallets, and rise of cardless payments
  • Travel Commerce: Models and Competition
  • Retailers Going Online: Omnichannel & eCommerce

Prototype Day

Prototype Day will have three tracks of following hands-on workshops that have been designed to help startup founders and entrepreneurs learn some quick skills that could be very important for their entrepreneurial journey.

  • Managing Human Resources and Hiring for Startups
  • Understanding Product-Market Fit and Pivoting
  • Term-sheets and Valuations
  • Managing Your Online Presence
  • Brand Building Through StoryTelling
  • Growing hacking SEO


The conference will also feature different competitions where startups, entrepreneurs, and marketers will have a chance to test the waters. Operational startups will be able to compete against each other in the Startup Battle, the three winners from Saudi will get a chance to compete against the winners from other parts of the region in ArabNet Startup Championship next year in Dubai to win $20,000 as prize money and a scholarship in Silicon Valley. Ideathon competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and the all-new Creative Combat will be an opportunity for young marketers to showcase their digital marketing skills.

ArabNet is also having the second edition of its Kuwait conference next week and they’ve got a pretty amazing lineup of speakers for it. If you’re around, you don’t want to miss it.


Zubair Naeem Paracha
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