Our selection builds on the success of the initiative that began in 2017, working to integrate the Arab world's most promising start-up entrepreneurs into a national and regional dialogue on pressing challenges.
The 100 start-ups in 2019 were selected out of almost 400 applications. They represent 17 countries and a range of sectors, including education, energy, environment, finance, health, media and mobility.
What’s the challenge?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has presented the Middle East and North Africa with unprecedented challenges that need to be solved through community innovation, collaboration and technology.
The Start-up Ecosystem in the Arab World shows entrepreneurship is booming across the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018, $900 million was invested across the region in 386 deals, an increase of 31% in total funding in 2017. Entrepreneurs and start-ups are playing a key role in facilitating new ideas, strategies and progress in society – and need to be given a greater platform to meet the region’s most pressing challenges.
"The 100 Arab start-ups initiative is not just a platform for recognizing promise but a way to bring great minds together to discuss the limitless possibilities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the next breakthroughs that the regional ecosystem can deliver.
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is proud to partner with the World Economic Forum on the search for the 100 Arab start-ups shaping the future."
The World Economic Forum and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) are proud to partner every year on the selection of 100 Arab start-ups shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The initiative gives entrepreneurs across the region the opportunity to benefit from a tailored programme where they discuss the future of their industries with government and business leaders at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa.
Among the 2019 selected start-ups are the world’s first halal investment platform (Wahed Invest, UAE); a biotech company that uses camel milk to develop antibodies (MonoJo, Jordan); a company that uses augmented reality for surgeons to contribute remotely to clinical procedures (Proximie, Lebanon); an app that reinvents public transport with fixed fares and booking (Swvl, Egypt); a platform to meet fellow football players and book pitches (Malaeb, Bahrain); a production company shaping its country’s cultural landscape (Akkasa, Oman); a bracelet that detects epilepsy seizures and sends alerts to care-givers (Epilert, Tunisia); the first coding booth camps for the Arab world (Coded, Kuwait); an app for civic engagement (Clean City M3kod, Morocco); and a company conducting a range of mapping, including that of cultural heritage sites, with autonomous drones (FalconViz, Saudi Arabia). The work of the start-ups and entrepreneurs is helping to solve some of the Arab world’s most crucial challenges.
A selection committee of experts on the start-ups ecosystem in the region worked with the World Economic Forum and the EDB to screen and select the 100 start-ups. For the full list and more information about the selection committee, click here.
"The Arab world will need its private sector to address youth unemployment, the current skills gap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the inclusion of women in the workforce. Start-ups, and the entrepreneurs building them, are key to a strategic public-private dialogue on these issues and to creating corresponding new opportunities in society."
How can you get involved?
The World Economic Forum is helping ensure a significant global impact through enabling initiatives like the 100 Arab start-ups. You can contribute to improving the Arab region’s future and solving its unprecedented challenges by partnering with us.
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