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 SAB – الأول. Since 2016, we’ve helped founders push the boundaries of what’s possible, giving them the funds, tools, and hands-on resources to define and refine their companies — and bring their game-changing businesses to market.

Over six months, we guide and develop entrepreneurs through mentorship, funding and targeted workshops  focusing on product design, market fit, business model planning, team development, and fundraising. 

For each TAQADAM cohort, participating startups receive $40,000 in funding, plus access to co-working spaces across Saudi, a diverse international community and a wide pool of experts and mentors.

At the close of each TAQADAM cohort, founders walk away with a dynamic toolkit designed to accelerate their business, while ensuring they have the insights and access needed to engage 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, collectively, have raised more than $60M in investment funding.

KAUST has significant expertise in designing and implementing startup accelerator programs.  Our entrepreneurship training programs in Saudi Arabia have graduated more than 11,000 innovators in the last decade.

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: UnitX, Faheem, Saee, Ajeer, Taffi, and Logexa.

Saudi Awwal Bank (SAB – الأول) 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 SAB’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

Arwa Shafi
Startup Accelerator Lead
Maryam Barradh
Startup Associate
Rahaf AlRashidi
Startup Business Analyst
Mohammed AlMeer
Elevate, Graduate Trainee

Frequently Asked Questions