DAMMAM VALLEY CONCLUDES THE FIRST SEASON OF ITS BIOTECH STARTUPS PROGRAM AT FII 6, WITH PLANS FOR A SECOND SEASON
Dammam Valley & its partners officially concluded their first BioTech Startups Program during the 6th edition of the Future Investment Initiative after a one-hour jury panel of top finale & discussion with world-class leaders.
"One of our aims at the program is to help create a community of innovators and entrepreneurs of the highest caliber. We contributed to the Kingdom’s active role in the biotech ecosystem as it strives to pin itself on the map of countries leading in investment and innovation in biotechnology." Said Dr. Abdulrahman, the CEO of Dammam Valley.
The BioTech Startups Program, the first of its kind in the nation to stimulate the establishment of emerging companies in the field of biotechnology, provides quality training and consulting in the field to mentor national and international cadres in investing in and seeking funding for biotechnology. Through partnering with world-class mentors and training partners including MSD, Illumina, Pfizer, Mayo Clinic, the startups began their 6-month journey through the program.
Originally attracting over 130 applicants from 15 countries in its first phase, 70 were qualified to join the program's second phase during which participants attended workshops geared to help them compete and move on to the next phase. After which in the third and pre-final phase 35 startups went through concentrated mentorship sessions with seasoned leaders and experts in the fields of biotechnology and investment, intended to aid them in further developing their startups and bringing them a step closer in succeeding to commercialize their innovations.
Which brought us to today's event, the finale of the program, where the six finalists -in no particular order- Novai from London, Nano Fabric from Dammam, Hypoguard Biotechnology from South Africa, Shomool from Riyadh & Houston, Kinimmune, Inc. from Kansas City & Jeddah, and Optima DX from KAUST were invited on stage to present their startups to the panel, where all secured grants totaling up to $500K, with the total investment raised for startups during the program amounting to $12 million.
The jury panel of which the startups presented to included His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Waleed bin Talal, and their Excellencies Eng. Khaled AlFaleh and Eng. Bandar Alkhorayef, and Ms. Lubna Alolayan who all partook in giving one-on-one mentor sessions to the finalists prior to the final phase. To which Dammam Valley's CEO, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Olayan, expressed his appreciation for their significant support and contribution, and went on to thanking their organizational partner: Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University; their Strategic Sponsor: Saudi Aramco, and program partners: Ministry of Investment, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Future Investment Initiative, and Sadara Petrochemical Company.
Before concluding the event with a few words directed to the winners "Congratulations to the winners and on behalf of Dammam Valley & its partners I wish you all the best. I cannot emphasize enough; your future success is upon you. The key to success is hard work coupled with innovation and commitment, and all our Program participants have an equal chance to succeed provided they commit and implement the knowledge they acquired." The panel members take home message to the startups.
Where he then closed with an announcement pertaining the return of the biotech program with a second season, “With the conclusion of the First BioTech Startups Program, we are excited to share that we will soon be announcing the start of the second season of the Biotech Startups Program in February 2023 projecting bigger investments and wider participation”