The UBI Index ranked the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center as a Top Challenger for university incubator programs during the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada, in February this year. Photo courtesy of Nawaf Al Gain.
-By Nawaf Al Gain, KAUST News
Nawaf Al Gain, a learning and design program manager at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, writes about his experience attending the World Incubation Summit in Canada on behalf of the University earlier this year.
The UBI Index ranked the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center as a Top Challenger for university incubator programs during the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada, held from February 22 to 23. KAUST was recognized from among 259 finalists in 53 countries selected from 1,370 submissions.
UBI Global is a Stockholm-based data and advisory firm that specializes in mapping and highlighting the world of business incubation. UBI held the invitation-only event for university-linked business incubators and accelerators connected to its global network.
UBI Global CEO and Founder Ali Amin explained, "By highlighting the impact and performance of these programs, we are not only helping incubators and accelerators to become more efficient, but we are also assisting government officials in developing their respective innovation ecosystems."
As a mentor, entrepreneur and Saudi, I was proud to attend the World Incubator Summit on behalf of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center. KAUST was previously recognized in 2016 with a High Impact Award, and this year's win showcases the strength and caliber of the programs that we run.
Nawaf Al Gain, a learning and design program manager at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center (right), and Khalid Al Dossary from the Saudi Electricity Company (left) display the Top Challenger Award the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center won during the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada, in February this year. Photo courtesy of Nawaf Al Gain.
Over the past two years, we launched two innovative accelerator programs:
The theme of the World Incubation Summit for this year was "Catalyzing Impactful Collaborations." As an Entrepreneurship Center and as a university, our mission at KAUST is to encourage collaboration and facilitate innovation within Saudi Arabia. With all of our entrepreneurship programs, our partners have been at the core of our impressive growth and are a testament to the confidence they have in our programs. These partners also form an important part of the foundation for the hundreds of entrepreneurs that have come through our programs. We believe our partnerships between academia and industry serve as a key component to creating impact through knowledge exchange. One example is the partnership between the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and KAUST to solve many of the technical challenges in the power industry.
Nawaf Al Gain, a learning and design program manager at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center (fourth from left), and Khalid Al Dossary from the Saudi Electricity Company (fifth from left) take part in a panel discussion during the World Incubation Summit in Canada earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Nawaf Al Gain.
It was with great honor that I participated in the panel discussion "From Contact to Contract" with SEC, one of our earliest partners. Over the course of our partnership with SEC, we have launched a corporate innovation program that has resulted in innovative, patented and market-ready technologies.
During the panel, Khalid Al Dossary, the executive manager of Innovation Energy Incubation, said, "We look forward to expanding our collaboration with KAUST to identify further innovations that SEC can deploy by capitalizing on the innovations that come from collaborations between KAUST students and SEC employees."