ArabNet Riyadh to open doors for entrepreneurs and shed light on the GCC digital landscape
- Saudi Arabia: Monday, October 22 - 2012 at 16:54
- PRESS RELEASE
After staging landmark events for the digital ecosystem in the MENA region over the past 3 years in Beirut and Cairo, ArabNet, the hub for Arab digital professionals and entrepreneurs to connect and learn comes to Saudi Arabia.
With staggering broadband (63%) and internet-enabled mobile penetration (69%) rates, Saudi Arabia's young demographic (60% under the age of 25) is one of the most connected populations in the region. Saudi Arabia's tech-savvy youth has placed the country at the top of social gaming consumption in the MENA, and has ranked it first in YouTube consumption per capita worldwide, with 90 million YouTube views daily. "These factors are a clear indication that Saudi Arabia is a serious force to reckon with for anyone with aspirations for a successful web or mobile venture in the region", says Omar Christidis, Founder of ArabNet.
ArabNet Riyadh will bring together 45 international and regional experts to share their insights into cutting edge trends in e-commerce, women specific content, tech blogging, gaming production and consumption, and Youtube channels among other topics, presenting a comprehensive overview of doing business online in the KSA. The line-up of first class speakers includes HRH Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al-Saud, Founder, PopOver Games; Essam AlZamel, Executive Committee Member of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce; Saad AlKhudairy, Founder and CEO of Abu Nawaf Network; Rishi Saha, Regional Director of Hill & Knowlton and Rashid Al-Ballaa, CEO, National Net Ventures N2V among others.
"The event presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from regional success stories and to gain a better understanding of the investment landscape in the KSA and GCC," adds Christidis. Over 600 stakeholders in the MENA digital sphere are expected to be in attendance including executives, entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, governmental bodies, and university entrepreneurship centers keen on harnessing the potential in the Saudi market.
The KSA already has its own entrepreneurial heroes to boast of, many of whom have garnered funding, a testament to the fact that the number of Saudi startups attracting the interest of investors and securing rounds of funding is on the rise. A number of these entrepreneurs will be sharing the lessons and experiences they've gained at ArabNet Riyadh.
"The prevalence of successful digital ventures coming out of the KSA provides a proof of concept for others with a passion and desire to bring their web and mobile businesses to life. Through the conference we aim to show that all the ingredients for a ripe entrepreneurial climate in the KSA are present and that the time to act is now", added Christidis.
In line with this vision, ArabNet Riyadh will be inviting the GCC's top 20 emerging entrepreneurs to pitch their digital ideas and startups live through its signature Ideathon and Startup Demo Competitions. The Ideathon aims to expose the 10 most promising ideas for a web or mobile business in the GCC, while the Startup Demo Competition aims to highlight the 10 early-stage startups in the region most poised for success. These competitions will connect participating entrepreneurs with invaluable sources of funding, mentorship, and exposure, and will spotlight where digital entrepreneurship is headed in the region.
The deadline for applications for the Ideathon and Startup Demo competitions is October 25.
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