KAUST startups take top prizes

KAUST startups have had a run of success in the Kingdom's recent entrepreneurship competitions.

Leading the way was KAUST startup Sadeem, a wireless sensor system for flood monitoring. After winning Best Global Startup and taking home $100,000 in prize money at GITEX Future Stars, the startup has won first prize at the ArabNet Riyadh and most recently, the Best Entrepreneur Award from Oqal.

"These wins reflect six years of hard work. The cash prizes have allowed us to enhance each department of the company and deliver our first pilot projects," said Sadeem co-founder Esteban Canepa.

Startups from both of the KAUST accelerator programs are also showing promise-TAQADAM in partnership with Saudi British Bank (SABB) and 9/10ths.

Quantum Solutions, a nanotech developer of quantum dots for LCD displays, LEDs and solar cells, won first place at the MIT Enterprise Forum's Startup Smart event in Riyadh. Another KAUST startup, Al Maha Systems, a livestock tracking system for farmers, recently took first place in the Innovation Competition from the Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (Monsha'at) at the Asbar Forum.

"KAUST supports early-stage startups in the Kingdom to explore, test and build their business ideas," said Kevin Cullen, vice president for KAUST Innovation and Economic Development. "In addition, the KAUST Research & Technology Park hosts a growing number of early-stage startups and SMEs. We support entrepreneurs throughout their entire lifecycle, from idea to market."