What Are the Key Entrepreneurship Conferences I Need to Attend in Saudi Arabia?
If you are a startup founder or an aspiring investor, attending entrepreneurship conferences is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and opportunities in the Kingdom's business landscape, and to network with other entrepreneurs, investors, and experts. Here we have provided you with the key entrepreneurship conferences that have taken place in 2022-2023; these are the conferences and events most talked about by investors and entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia. These events offer valuable insights for you whether you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, looking for talent or investment, or are ready to take your business to the next level. Here they are, in no particular order.
Website: www.onegiantleap.com | Twitter: @LEAPandInnovate
LEAP conference is a four-day international tech conference which takes place each year in February or March, organized by MCIT. The conference hosts over 700 speakers, and brings together over 100,000 technological innovators and experts from around the world. In 2023, US $9 billion worth of investments and initiatives for the Saudi startup ecosystem were announced at the LEAP Conference. Other major announcements included Meta announcing the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in the MENA region in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom continues its leadership position as the MENA region's largest digital market with more than $42 billion in active investments and more than 340,000 people currently work in the digital, telecommunications, and information technology sectors.
The next edition of LEAP is scheduled to return to Riyadh and is slated for the 4th to 7th March 2024. This event promises to be an exciting opportunity for individuals and businesses interested in the latest tech developments and innovations.
Also Read: LEAP 2023 In Riyadh Sees US$9 Billion Worth Of Investments Made In Saudi Arabia's Tech Sector
Website: https://bibanglobal.sa/ | Twitter: @BibanGlobal
In 2017, Monsha’at launched BIBAN, a four-day annual conference for entrepreneurs, startups, investors and policy makers to develop innovation capabilities in the Kingdom and foster growth. It is a dynamic and interactive event with 12+ stations that included conferences, awards, and exhibitions. In these formative years of the Saudi start-up ecosystem, the BIBAN conference has been incredibly important to help address and tackle obstacles faced by entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the ecosystem, such as lack of familiarity with government systems, procedures and regulatory requirements for start-up founders.
BIBAN 2023 ran under the slogan, “Fostering Tangible Opportunities”, and ended this past month. Biban 2023 saw 25 agreements launched alongside a range of investment initiatives announced in its first day. Among these agreements, a whopping US $2.93 billion was pledged by eight attending banking institutions and financing entities for the sole purpose of funding the Kingdom’s SME ecosystem.
Also Read: Saudi Arabia's Biban 2023 Forum Shows The Kingdom's Commitment To Become A Leading SME Hub
3. Global Entrepreneurship Congress
The Global Entrepreneurship Congress took place in Riyadh in March 2022, and was organized by Monsha’at and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). The four-day event gathered entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and key stakeholders to promote, connect, and strengthen the ecosystem. The GEC secured US$13.8 billion in investment directed towards financial products, mentorship, and funding. The conference hosted 150 speakers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph. Monsha’at announced that it would allocate US$3.2 billion to start-up funding and the Ministry of investment would allocate US$1 billion to license international companies and encourage entry to the Saudi market. It is uncertain whether or not the Global Entrepreneurship Congress will become an annual or bi-annual event to attend in the future, but keep your eyes peeled for announcements.
Also Read: Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2022 In Riyadh Sees Almost US$8 Billion In Investments Announced On Its Second Day
4. RiseUp Summit
RiseUp Summit is one of the largest innovation and entrepreneurship events on the MENA entrepreneurship circuit, originally birthed and taking place in the heart of Cairo.
In November 2022, RiseUp Summit came to Saudi Arabia for the first time under the theme #THRIVE. The summit took place at the King Abdullah Financial District and attracted nearly 10,000 participants, 150 startups, investors and 200 speakers. This summit is gearing up to become an annual affair.
Read Next: Who Are the Key Stakeholders and Supporters of Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia?
Learn more about the successful and the emerging Saudi’s startup and its ecosystem, in the most comprehensive report on the topic to date, The Evolution of Saudi Arabia's Start-Up Ecosystem 2010-2022.