The Duke’s final day of engagements in Saudi Arabia focused on entrepreneurship. In the morning, HRH travelled north from Jeddah to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), where he was met by the Chief Executive Officer, Fahd Al Rasheed. A briefing on KAEC’s continuing development was followed by a visit to the World Academy School, where The Duke met pupils and teachers. The school celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week with a Dragons Den style event, in which students pitched business ideas. Afterwards, HRH commended the young participants for their ingenuity and enthusiasm.
After lunch with KAEC officials and business leaders, The Duke attended what had been dubbed Pitch on Tour – an event inspired by HRH’s Pitch@Palace initiative, in which entrepreneurs are given three minutes to “pitch” their business vision to an audience of executives and investors. Six successful start-ups from the London events had travelled to take part, together with nine Saudi entrepreneurs. Their business ventures took in fields as diverse as robotics, clean energy, photography, gaming and microbiological testing.
The full list of participants was as follows:-
|Saudi Start-Ups||Company Representative|
|GreenDesal||Dr. Ahmad Alsaadi|
|ChitoMed||Dr. Khalid Al Rubeaan|
|3mlty (Omlaty)||Khalid Al Holan|
|Saudi Medical Laboratories Services||Sarah Aljishi|
|UK Start-ups||Company Representative|
|SAM Labs||Joachim Horn|
|Pure Marine||Paul Brewster|
|Reach Robotics||Silas Adekunle|
|Skin Analytics||Neil Daly|
After the Pitches The Duke noted how impressed he had been by all of the Entrepreneurs. Additionally, he asked the audience to commit to connecting with at least one of the Businesses as follow up to the event.
HRH commented: “many of these businesses are suitable to operate in each other’s country. It’s been a real insight to come with some of our entrepreneurs from the UK – I can see this is something that’s going to grow in future. I wish all of you entrepreneurs every success.”
The day, and the visit, ended with a dinner in The Duke’s honour, hosted by Sheikh Khalid Ali Reza and attended by leading members of the Jeddah business community.