Initiative to foster next generation of Kuwait’s tech entrepreneurs
KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, held a press conference at its headquarters and announced the kick-off of the fourth installment of the highly successful Zain Great Idea (ZGI) accelerator program, aimed at identifying and fostering young, hi-tech entrepreneurs in Kuwait.
The accelerator program is a Zain initiative in partnership with Brilliant Lab, a startup accelerator service from Kuwait, and Mind The Bridge, a Silicon Valley-based organization specializing in entrepreneurship education for startups, enterprises and investors.
ZGI is a highly-anticipated activity in Kuwait, and the previous three successful two-year programs (2010-11, 2013-14, and 2015-16) has seen the empowerment, training, and investment in hundreds of creative and driven young Kuwaitis, of which many now own thriving Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Waleed Al-Khashti, Corporate Communications and relations Director at Zain Kuwait, said , “Encouraging and providing the proper resources for the local entrepreneurial community is a top priority for Zain. Through our active corporate sustainability program, the company is keen to contribute to Kuwait’s economic and national development, much of which will be driven by the country’s youth.”
Neda Al-Dehani, founder of Brilliant lab, commented: “we are extremely proud of this partnership with Zain throughout the past five years, where we trained and accelerated over 300 tech ideas in Kuwait. Brilliant Lab will be bringing the best tech experiences from the region and the world to the participants. Seven years ago, it was tough to make a tech idea come to life in Kuwait, then came ZGI and made the process easier from A-Z like no other program did”.
To be considered for participation in this year’s program, applicants must submit their ideas online at www.ZainGreatIdea.com by 30 September, 2017. Successful applicants will be emailed and given details of the Boot Camp Orientation, which is a two-and-a-half week long intense local accelerator initiative for all valid applicants. During the boot camp, participants will learn about the tech startup culture and workings from leading mentors from Stanford University, IE Business school, entrepreneurs and regional and international venture capital firms. Participants will then be required to prepare pitch decks and present to a panel of judges who will determine the top 10 finalists to enter phase 2 of the program.
Phase 2 will see selected finalists travel to San Francisco (Silicon Valley) and London in November 2017 with Mind The Bridge, and upon their return, will have their business plans reviewed and evaluated in one-on-one sessions with Brilliant Lab, before finally presenting them to investors in Kuwait at Zain Demo Day in December 2017.
Startup areas of interest for the program extend, but are not limited, to the following: Apps, Websites, e-Commerce, Fintech, Gaming, Tech Products and others. ZGI is open to any Kuwaiti national above the age of 21 possessing a tech startup idea, or prototype/demo, or an established tech business. For more information please visit zaingreatidea.com.