About TAQADAM – Taqadam




Backing founders to create startups that matter

TAQADAM Startup Accelerator

At TAQADAM, we believe in the power of people with big ideas, bold thinking and creativity to change the world. We back MENA’s most remarkable founders who are creating the next generation of startups.
TAQADAM is a startup accelerator powered by KAUST and SABB. Since 2016, we’ve helped innovators push the boundaries of what’s possible, giving them the funds, tools, and hands-on resources to define and refine their big ideas — and bring their game-changing businesses to market.
Over six months, we guide and develop entrepreneurs through mentorship, zero-equity funding and training. Startups receive 150,000 SAR in grant-funding and gain access to co-working spaces across MENA. Our method focuses on product design, market fit, business model planning, team development, and fundraising. Startups graduate with a toolkit to accelerate their business, gain access to potential customers and develop an exceptional network of mentors and investors.

Our Partners

Founding Partners

KAUST is a leading Saudi Arabian university with a commitment to fostering and growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Kingdom and the Middle East. KAUST is a hub of innovation for local and international startups.

  • KAUST has graduated more than 300 startups who have raised over $60M of investment funding.
  • KAUST has significant expertise in designing and implementing startup accelerator programs, and entrepreneurship training programs in Saudi Arabia with over 11,000 innovators graduated.
  • KAUST’s successful startup accelerator track record includes Hikma, VentureLab, 9/10ths Accelerator and TAQADAM. Success stories of startups that graduated from KAUST accelerators and have secured funding: SadeemUnitX, Faheem, DhadSaee, & Ajeer.

Saudi British Bank (SABB) is a Saudi Joint Stock Company with a strong track record and a heritage that stretches back more than 40 years. The partnership between SABB and KAUST aims to fund projects and support innovative ideas in Saudi Arabia. The TAQADAM program supports initiatives in various fields such as financial technology, digital solutions, industrial solutions and food, water sustainability and many more. The program is one of SABB’s key social initiatives as part of its responsibility toward the community, and to complement its pioneering role in supporting young people’s aspirations and contributing to developing a generation capable of leading the country in the fields of trade, industry, knowledge and technology.

The Team

Meet the team behind the TAQADAM initiative

Hattan Ahmed
Head of KAUST Entreneurship Center
Abdulrahman Aljiffry
TAQADAM Program Manager
Arwa Shafi
Accelerator Lead
Maryam Barradh
Startup Coordinator
Lama Hakem
Training Specialist
Nikolaos Tsorpatzidis
Startup Coordinator
Jerry Faldas
Team Admin
Bülent Erbilgin
Visiting Professor
Haitham Alhumsi
Online Learning Manager
Dawood Muhanna
Online Learner Experience Consultant
Mohamad Alwan
Financial Startup Analyst
Ahmed Jeffery
Startup Incubator Lead

Frequently Asked Questions