Fascinating technology

KFUPM Entrepreneurship Institute Boosts the Growth of Tech Startups

Among the start-ups created with the support of the Institute is IR4LAB, a company that uses blockchain technology to verify the certification status of job candidates. One of the founders of the company is Majd Al Afifi, who received a 2030 entrepreneurship scholarship and joined EI in 2016 and launched his company in 2017. IR4LAB has since secured an investment of 5.63 million from SAR of Saud Aramco Entrepreneurship (Wa’ed), to help drive the business forward.

Another result of the Institute’s ecosystem is Meem Web Solutions, a company offering a unique platform that optimizes the automation of business processes. The founder, Syed Shamaail Jafri, received a grant of SAR 50,000 from the Institute’s Keys of Goodness fund. Explaining his business goals, Shamaail said, “While large organizations typically have an enterprise resource planning system in place, they continue to use legacy practices that mean they maintain a paper-based office. Our goal is to provide a single platform to automate all processes and create paperless offices, making an important contribution to the green society. »

Majd and Shamaail are two of the many success stories of the Institute’s EEL program, which provides aspiring entrepreneurs with incubation facilities, training in key business functions, and business coaching and mentoring, as well as access to funding through the Keys of Goodness fund. Other companies spun off from the program include Helper Robot, a company offering the development and training of robotics prototypes, and Mahsool, an e-commerce platform selling and promoting the best dates in the Kingdom.

The EEL Acceleration Program has also been instrumental in nurturing serial entrepreneurs who have applied their entrepreneurial spirit to respond to changing circumstances. Among them, Ali Alsalhi and Ahmad Ibrahem Almassrahy, who have created two new companies since 2015. Starting with Khout3d, a start-up focused on localizing the manufacture of 3D printer filaments, the duo then reacted to the pandemic by starting another business. , Kanaf, specializing in the manufacture of face shields to protect those working on the front lines.

Having already established themselves as successful entrepreneurs, Ali says they have ambitious growth plans for the future. He revealed, “We export about 5% of our production outside the country and our vision is to increase this figure to 70% in five years. With five current employees, 80% of whom are Saudi nationals, we also aim to create more vacancies. We are now one of the three largest suppliers in Saudi Arabia in the field of 3D printing products and our ambition is to be one of the best in the Middle East region over the next seven years.

Speaking on the role of KFUPM-EI in developing entrepreneurs, Dr. Wail A. Mousa, Founding Dean of the Institute, said, “High-growth start-ups will have a vital role to play in diversifying of our economy and we see a strong and ever-growing entrepreneurial spirit in our community. Through our programs, we aim to nurture this spirit and provide the practical support needed to establish and grow these businesses, to reach their full potential and make a lasting contribution to the economic prosperity of the Kingdom.