Supported by an exclusive banking partner Riyadh Bank, the Demo Day took place at the Riyad Bank SME Center in a hybrid format, allowing start-ups to physically or virtually present their business concepts. The teams presented themselves to a leading panel of senior executives from Sukna Ventures and Unifonic, alongside representatives of program supporters from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the Authority general for small and medium enterprises (Monsha’at), as well as a large group of potential investors and business leaders.
After announcing “Unifonic X” in June, 27 participants from several countries, the majority of Saudi Arabia and others including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and United States were selected from hundreds of applicants and made part of the 14-week program, which began in September. Over the past few months, they have embarked on a series of hands-on learning activities, incorporating live workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, online courses and internal presentations, enabling them to build impactful, successful and successful businesses. sustainable.
Some significant successes saw TeamUp sign an agreement with the Sports Ministry, laying a solid foundation for future prospects, while AlGooru secured a pre-seed round and Logexa secured a seed round, thus strengthening their positions at as they move their businesses forward.
The management teams of Sukna Ventures and Unifonic have actively engaged in mentoring activities and feedback sessions with start-ups. In addition, the teams had access to a wide range of local and international industry experts as guest speakers and mentors in the areas of investment, finance, law, sales and marketing. These included Chris Neumann (Commonwealth companies), Danya bashir (Arqaam), Hamzah Nassif (Real companies), Mike Sigal (Global Start-up Advisor), Pedram mokrian (Global catalyst for innovation), Sandeep Kher (Sequoia Capital) and Sébastien Toupy (Global Strategist) among others.
“At Unifonic, we believe it is crucial to give back to the community that has helped us to have such a positive impact. With our partner Sukna Ventures and the support of our sponsors, we will take it to the next level by strengthening an ecosystem that fosters innovation and generates a constant flow of ideas to attract investment and ensure sustainable development for a prosperous future ”, said Ahmed Hamdan, co-founder and CEO of Unifonic.
Fares Bardeesi, Founder and Managing Partner of Sukna Ventures explained, “Our participants at ‘Unifonic X’ worked extremely hard during an intense 14 week period of theoretical learning and application of practical skills. As this leg of their journey draws to a close, we “are incredibly proud of their commitment and their accomplishments to date. New opportunities open up, and every business has a bright future ahead of it, based on the same standards. At Sukna Ventures, we remain focused on contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we look forward to supporting businesses as they further develop their businesses. “
A spokesperson for the Innovation Department of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) said: “We are delighted to have been part of the ‘Unifonic X’ program to stimulate the development of technology start-ups and software. Now that the program is over, we will be happy to offer ongoing support to the participants involved. Specifically, we plan to provide further assistance through our Thakaa Center, which is the first specialist innovation center serving entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. small businesses in Saudi Arabia. The main objective of the center is to guide promising start-ups, improve the growth of SMEs and enable entrepreneurs to maximize their use of emerging technologies in fields such as artificial intelligence, data science, l ‘Internet of things and cybersecurity. In doing so, they can benefit from the most advanced tools available to improve their performance and maintain their competitive advantage, locally and globally. “
During the program, participants not only worked on content based on the program, but most importantly, on developing their business. Supported by their mentors, the companies established a series of strategic milestones to create a clear roadmap. After the Demo Day, selected attendees will receive assistance to facilitate their next stage of growth, including coordinating meetings with potential Demo Day investors and partners, access to finance and business support from Sukna Ventures and Unifonic. Other benefits include AWS activate technical support and advice, free enrollment in an international accelerator program, free coworking facilities, legal assistance, and a discounted annual Zoom license. Witnessing the high level of interest and the positive results, subsequent “Unifonic X” cohorts are being considered for the future.
Notes to editor
Some of the start-ups in the first ‘Unifonic X’ cohort include:
- Al Gooru – a tutoring network marketplace that connects students with qualified tutors on demand.
- ATHR – a Saudi B2B company that provides secure, fast and convenient digital solutions for cross-border KYC, online integration, LBA and background check.
- Fanera – a 360 degree social platform designed by and for football fans to share their favorite moments and enjoy community generated content.
- Steer Campaign – offers email marketing, marketing automation, and tools to create amazing customer experiences.
- TeamUp – an event management marketplace for all sports activities.
- Logexa – an on-demand storage platform for SMBs who need flexible storage without long-term contracts and minimum storage volumes.
- DaaS – a B2B platform that facilitates dropshipping in the Saudi market.
- Nawra – a B2B travel technology company that provides SaaS solution to Umrah travel agents.
- RM – an investment platform that provides a single view of portfolios across multiple brokerage accounts and is designed to assess performance based on user selection of a wide variety of benchmarks.
About Sukna Ventures
Sukna Ventures “Sᵛ” is a RiyadhA venture capital studio and venture capital fund based on investing in tech-driven companies shaping the industry by empowering founders and entrepreneurs. Sᵛ actively supports founders and talent through mentorship and access to a network of industry experts, facilitators and investors. Since 2016, Sᵛ has built and invested in numerous companies mainly focusing on the Saudi market and talent. Sᵛ is renowned for its ability to combine global and network perspectives with local trends in the most efficient use of capital, thereby helping founders co-create superior and sustainable businesses and returns over the long term.
Unifonic is a customer engagement platform that enables organizations to delight customers with remarkable omnichannel experiences. By unifying communication channels, messaging apps and chatbots, Unifonic streamlines conversations at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.
Unifonic connects companies such as Saudi Electricity Company, Saudi Ministry of Health, Absher, Uber, Aramex, Noon, as well as major banks and financial institutions in the region, in addition to healthcare, education, travel, e-commerce and logistics. worldwide. With proven expertise in emerging markets since 2006, Unifonic is committed to delivering excellence by processing more than 10 billion transactions annually for millions of recipients in more than 160 countries, supported by a local presence in four countries and a dedicated team of 200 professionals serving customers 24/7. .
Visit https://www.unifonic.com/ for more information.
Established in 2016, the objectives of the General Authority for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises “Monshaat” are to organize, support, develop and sponsor the SME sector in accordance with global best practices, to increase the productivity of these enterprises and of increase their contribution to GDP from 20% to 35% by 2030. Monshaat works to support, develop and nurture the SME sector in accordance with global best practices by implementing and supporting programs and projects aimed at promoting the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and by diversifying the sources of financing, supporting SMEs and stimulating venture capital initiatives, establishing policies and standards for the financing of projects classified as small and medium enterprises. It also provides administrative and technical support to establishments and helps them develop their administrative, technical, financial, marketing, human resources and other capacities.
For any questions about the “Unifonic X” program, please contact:
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SOURCE Sukna Ventures