The first Saudi App Expo took place in Riyadh last week. Organized under the patronage of Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the expo provided entrepreneurs and startups with a platform to showcase their tech or tech-enabled products and services. It provided a platform for entrepreneurs, business owners and organizations to showcase their services to the world. Startups and businesses from Saudi and some other parts of the region sponsored and participated in the event.
The event was attended by people from diverse walks of life. It showcased apps from different verticals including logistics, education, healthcare, real estate, marketing, events and entertainment. The expo was representative of industries realizing potential of technology and striving to get their share from digital economy. Expo reflected the entrepreneurship trends in KSA. Entrepreneurs are greatly eyeing revenue and growth from logistics and health sectors.
A large number of female entrepreneurs and professionals also attended and participated in the event. Apart from entrepreneurs and startups showcasing their products, the event also had few workshops, some of which were conducted by Al Yamamah University.
Some of the applications showcased at the event included.
Beez: offers different types of logistics, storage and distribution solution.
Sayer: aims to digitize the car rentals with their platform.
Cambly: connects its users with native English speakers to helm them learn and speak the language.
Allmni: a marketplace that connects tutors and students that connects (logistics, storage, distribution solutions.
Dabaab: a platform for bike-riders, application is not live yet.
Nine Tenths, a familiar name in the Saudi startup ecosystem was also present at the expo as a sponsor. It’s a government-owned organization that offers different services to help and enable entrepreneurs grow their businesses. They’ve recently started an ‘Apps‘ platform, using which entrepreneurs can promote their apps and services to reach potential clients.
Nine Tenths also runs Bahr, a marketplace to connect freelancers with people looking for different services. But their most popular offering is perhaps their acceleration program that has accelerated more than thirty startups in two cohorts until now. The demo day of their second cohort had seen three female-run startups as winners of the pitch competition.
With the Saudi government’s vision of enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem, businesses and entrepreneurs working hand in hand to realize this vision, entrepreneurship landscape in the Kingdom looks promising.
Disclosure: The author consults Nine Tenths on different projects.