Deeptech innovations continue to get its spotlight in Saudi Arabia as it debuted Beta Lab, a VC and co-creation studio focusing on the growth of deep tech startups.
The studio is launched with a number of partners, including the Saudi Ministry of Investment, Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII), and KBW Ventures.
Talking to Fast Company Middle East, Abdulrahman Al-Olayen, CEO of Beta Lab, advises interested founders that forming the right team is the key to standing out amongst applicants. “Once you are working with the right talents, you will figure out the rest of the recipe for success. At Beta Lab, we are interested in AI, IoT, [and] automation startups, especially startups working on the intersection between tech and traditional sectors.”
He adds, “We support startups with funding, co-development, and talents. We also help with regulation and licensing.” The studio will offer a range of services to turn ideas into businesses, including product development, business development, and access to a network to help each startup navigate its distinct challenges.
Open to early-stage startups from the idea phase until pre-Series A; the studio is accepting ongoing applications worldwide. However, Al-Olayen notes that prospective founders must apply before the end of July to be considered to showcase their startup at the FII flagship conference in October this year. The studio aims to attract local talent with a homegrown launchpad and as a regional hub for global talent.
The event took place with HE Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed Al Saud, and other members of the investment ecosystem.
Beta Lab aligns with the kingdom’s Vision 2030, noted Al-Falih. “We are confident that the studio’s focus on deep technology will bring significant value to the kingdom’s startup ecosystem and help drive economic growth.”
Al Saud discussed his optimism for the studio. As a venture capitalist known for championing deep tech startups, he will support Beta Lab’s cohorts with his industry expertise and background in the sector.
The studio is the latest effort by the kingdom to stimulate the deep tech sector. In 2021, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) became a member of the Saudi Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Through its KAUST Innovation Ventures, the institution aimed to develop the deep tech ecosystem in the country, investing up to $2 million in early-stage businesses.
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