After four days of fierce competition, with 100 startups representing 53 countries, one has emerged the victor of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC). White Helmet, a company that provides a platform to manage and monitor construction operations remotely, from anywhere and at any time, returns home with a US$300,000 share of the $1m prize pot.
What is the Entrepreneurship World Cup?
Co-hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Monsha’at – the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority in Saudi Arabia – EWC is one of the largest pitch competitions and startup support programs. Since launching in 2019, EWC has engaged over 400,000 entrepreneurs from 200 countries and connected founders with over US$4 million in cash prizes and another US$266 million worth of perks and free support and services.
The competition attracted over 30,000 founders, with 100 of the top-performing countries invited to pitch to judges at the Global Finals after several qualifying rounds. The final pitches were held at Biban 2023, the largest forum for entrepreneurs and small-to-medium-sized enterprises in Saudi Arabia. Providing over 105,000 participants a platform to advance entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, the forum’s theme this year is “Attract-Connect-Achieve”.
In addition to the grand $300,000 prize, 10 startups from diverse countries received cash prizes of $25,000-$200,000 to take their innovative solutions to the next level.
What does the initiative mean for stakeholders?
Sami Ibrahim Alhussaini, Governor of Monsha’at, said: “Saudi innovation and ingenuity has driven the advancement of the Kingdom’s startup and SME ecosystem forward over the past years. We are proud to have a Saudi company win this edition. We hope this win will inspire more of our people to take that step forward and realize their entrepreneurial ambitions.”
Commenting on the initiative, Jonathan Ortmans, President of GEN, said, “These founders and their companies are disrupting their industries and testing big ideas with potential to transform our world. GEN is proud to co-host the Entrepreneurship World Cup for the fourth year, giving promising firms the opportunity to connect to global markets and investment.”
The EWC is supported by several partners including One Valley, The Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF), Entrepreneurs’ Organization, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology and Startup Genome. The Misk Foundation is a founding partner.