KPMG’s Tech Innovator competition returns in Saudi Arabia

09 May 2023 3 min. read

Global professional services firm KPMG has kicked off its process to identify the leading tech innovators in Saudi Arabia.

Now in its third year, the Global Tech Innovator competition was introduced by KPMG in 2021 with the aim to recognize leading technology innovators across all corners of the world, and showcase tech emerging players with the potential to disrupt their sectors.

Part of the inaugural line-up of 20+ KPMG members firms that launched the competition, KPMG Saudi Arabia has confirmed that the firm will this year once again host the contest.

KPMG - Are you the next Global Tech Innovator

The Global Tech Innovator 2023 competition will be run in parallel in 25 countries. “We invite entrepreneurs and start-ups with a foundation in tech to participate in the competition,” said Samer Abdallah, Head of ICT at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

“Regardless of whether a business is a pure technology company, tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven, we acknowledge the potential of these entities to shape the future of business, people and society,” he added.

Start-ups that participate will be provided the opportunity to pitch their concept to investors and industry experts, enabling them to gain valuable insights going forward. Winners of the national competitions will get the chance to compete against other country winners at the global grand finale, held traditionally during the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

Competition for the top plaudits is expected to be fierce, however. Last year, over 1,100 applicants entered the competition. UK-based HiiROC, a start-up and developer of a system to produce low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen, was crowned the global winner.

“Each pitching competition will be judged by a panel consisting of investors, industry experts, entrepreneurs and KPMG professionals, who will assign a score to each application based on six equally weighted criteria. These criteria include disruption and innovation, market potential, customer adoption, market traction and marketing, long-term potential, and pitch quality,” explained Abdallah.

“This competition comes as part of our strategy to empower and support entrepreneurs and technology pioneers to scale their ideas and innovations into success stories,” said Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, Regional Managing Partner for Riyadh at KPMG.

A tandem with Monsha’at

Supporting the 2023 edition is a partnership with Monsha’at – an institution that supports the development of the SME sector across Saudi Arabia. Al Sedais: “We are proud to partner with Monsha’at as this really helps to spread the word among the entrepreneurial community for entrepreneurs to apply to our competition.”

KPMG and Monsha’at in Saudi Arabia

Saud Alsabhan, Vice Governor for Entrepreneurship at Monsha’at, added: “We are happy to see initiatives launched by the private sector that support and help develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The partnership is very much aligned with Vision 2030, which aims to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the Kingdom and will leverage the expertise and resources of both organizations to provide start-ups with the right exposure, guidance and mentorship.”

A global competition

The list of all KPMG member firms participating in this year’s edition: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

Having served as a former host of the Global Tech Innovator competition, KPMG’s members firms in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE are this year not part of the line-up.