Kuwait, like much of the Middle East, is in the midst of entrepreneurial boom, with an influx of innovative startups in recent years. However, these companies would not be able to achieve their goals without the help of the countless local entities that are supporting entrepreneurship. From accelerators to venture capital firms, there are several key players in Kuwait’s startup ecosystem. Read on to take a closer look at seven of the most important entities in this growing entrepreneurial scene.
In 2017, Savour became the first Middle Eastern accelerator to focus on food startups. As part of the Kuwait branch of the Creative Startups accelerator, this program welcomes the participation of early-stage companies that are looking to scale their business. Savour provides all its startups with as much as $50,000 in starting capital. Over the course of eight weeks, the accelerator creates a strong foundation for success by connecting nascent companies with mentoring, coworking facilities, and networking opportunities. At the end of the acceleration period, startups work with Savour’s specialists to develop an effective business pitch for Demo Day. This event gives them the unique opportunity to share their vision with investors who can help catapult their businesses towards sustained growth.
Headquartered in downtown Kuwait City, Niu is a unique coworking space that caters to the needs of startups and small businesses alike. This facility focuses primarily on helping those companies that are looking to grow and become strong competitors in their industries, offering an array of resources for organizations of all sizes. To this end, Niu has created an arena in which its entrepreneurial network can collaborate professionally.
The organization offers two tiers of membership for those who are looking for affordable office space. Entrepreneurs can choose to rent out shared coworking space or gain all-day access to professional offices. As residents of Niu, startups also gain access to wireless Internet and telephone services. The organization can even connect companies with professional administrative staff who will assist in scheduling and answer phone calls.
Budding entrepreneurs can find additional support through Sirdab Lab, an organization that works hand-in-hand with local technology startups to guide them to success. Startup teams can become members of the lab on an annual basis, during which time they have access to all the resources they may need to launch their businesses.
Sirdab Lab provides basic growth services such as mentorship and networking opportunities, but it also features more exclusive benefits for startups. For example, all members are welcome to attend the organization’s various classes and workshops at a discounted rate. Participating entrepreneurs can also reserve space in Sirdab Lab to host their own startup events. With additional services aimed at providing funding and market visibility to startups, the lab is providing a platform through which its members can bring their most innovative ideas to life.
Established in 2011, Socialobby is the first social media marketing firm to exclusively serve the needs of entrepreneurs in the technology and social media industries. Those who are just starting their businesses can turn to the organization for any help they may need with advertising operations.
Socialobby operates an array of training programs that are geared towards enhancing participants’ knowledge of social media as a marketing tool. Entrepreneurs emerge from these courses fully prepared to combine social media and e-mail with regular advertising strategies. Additionally, these training programs help participants develop key competencies in such areas as professional blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and online relationship cultivation.
As one of the top startup accelerators in Kuwait, Mefazec is helping guide entrepreneurs to success by providing a number of crucial services. All startup teams begin by navigating through the organization’s initial screening process, which involves attendance at an expert-led meeting. Mefazec then moves the startups into its acceleration program, providing them with access to a plethora of financing, consulting, and networking services.
Participating startups also have the opportunity to attend helpful workshops that assist with idea development and skill cultivation. Guided by a dedicated mentor, each company will enjoy an experience designed to meet its specific needs.
Arzan Venture Capital
Recognizing that funding is a crucial factor in entrepreneurial viability, Arzan Venture Capital supports the financial needs of Kuwait’s growing entrepreneurial scene. Under the guidance of a team of investment managers and entrepreneurs, the firm has invested in nearly 20 companies in Kuwait and beyond. By doing so, Arzan aims to increase the impact of collaborative growth efforts and, more importantly, help the local startup scene flourish.
Since its inception in 2011, Brilliant Lab has worked to solidify Kuwait’s place on the entrepreneurial map. Over the years, the organization has engaged in collaborative projects with entities from across the globe to provide more visibility to Middle Eastern startups. Thanks to the help of such partners as Al Hamra and Mind the Bridge, Brilliant Lab has emerged into one of the most influential startup accelerators in Kuwait.
Brilliant Lab invites local innovators to enroll in its Startup School, which features an array of events and lesson plans that provide the guidance that budding entrepreneurs need to become proficient in their respective industries. Those who graduate from the school can participate in the organization’s acceleration program, which lasts six months and prepares them to grow their business even further. During this time, startups receive support in the form of mentorship, office facilities, and invested capital.