Ecosystem

World Economic Forum is looking for 100 Arab Startups that are shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2019

The World Economic Forum is once again looking for 100 promising Arab startups that are shaping the fourth Industrial Revolution. For this 2019 edition, WEF is partnering with Bahrain Economic Development Board to bring these 100 startups to World Economic Forum on Middle East & North Africa that will be taking place on 6th and 7th April at the Dead Sea in Jordan.

The selected startups, according to a statement by WEF, will join hundreds of government, business and civil society leaders from over 50 countries to shape regional agenda around innovation and entrepreneurship at the event.

World Economic Forum is only going to consider the startups that have raised at least one round of funding from outside investors. Now, this is probably being done to ensure that they don’t end up receiving applications from a lot of startups who’ve probably just started but what’s interesting is that WEF per the criteria listed on its application page is fine if you have a working prototype that’s ready to launch. So if you’re a bootstrapped startup that has been generating decent revenues, it’s not your lucky day.

The eligibility criteria, as listed on WEF’s application page, is the following:

  • Have received at least one round of funding from outside investors
  • If early stage, be generating revenue with demonstrated early success or have a working prototype that is ready to launch
  • If late stage, be considered a leader or high-potential company in their field
  • Demonstrate a commitment to making a substantial long-term impact on Arab business and society
  • Not be a subsidiary or a joint venture

A committee formed by the World Economic Forum that according to a statement that includes Wamda Capital’s Khaled Talhouni, STV’s Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, BECO Capital’s Amir Farha, Sawari Ventures’ Ahmed El Alfi, Leap Ventures’ Hala Fadel, Bahrain Development Bank’s Areije Al Shakar, and World Economic Forum’s Mirek Dusek, will review the applications to select these 100 startups.

World Economic Forum does not explain how it will avoid conflict of interest for applications submitted by the portfolio companies of these committee members.

Startups can submit their applications by 13th March using this link.  Successful applicants will be contacted by WEF by 21st March.

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