Khaled bin Alwaleed joins regional VCs to judge top startups at Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund Demo Day

May 8, 2024

The founder and CEO was live interviewed ahead of the accelerator’s pitch competition

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, served on the judging panel of one of the region’s top accelerator programs at an event held recently in Dubai.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) Demo Day, held in early May, saw 18 promising startups compete for awards and recognition from key players in the local VC space.

The event kicked off with a welcome by MBRIF Head and Chief Business Officer at Emirates Development Bank, Shaker Zainal.

During a fireside chat moderated by Aby Sam Thomas, Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East, under the theme Venture Capital Unpacked, Prince Khaled then discussed the KBW Ventures portfolio and investment trajectory. In addition, he also explored several of the firm’s most recent investments, the CEO’s focus on technology, and his gradual shift from early stage to growth stage investing.

The accelerator program’s seventh cohort then took part in a pitching competition, which was judged by Prince Khaled, HE Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Senior Partner at Global Ventures, Hala Ebrahim, Investment Director at Antler, and Tala Al Jabri, angel investor and MEVCA board member.

The three winning startups were: MDBX Health for Best Pitch, for Best UAE Homegrown Business and Detectiome for Most Impactful Business.

The event saw startups from a wide range of sectors present business cases for the judging panel. Startups were allotted three minutes each, before responding to questions by the judges.

The MBRIF focuses on the seven sectors of the UAE National Innovation Strategy: Health, Transport, Education, Technology, Clean Energy, Water and Space.

A federal initiative conceived and launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance, the MBRIF seeks to identify and nurture high potential innovations both within the UAE and abroad, aiming to enhance growth potential of innovative businesses and shape the future of the UAE’s economy.

Related: Five KBW Ventures portfolio companies listed in TIME’s 2024 Top Greentech Companies ranking