seedstar mandate
Feature Stories Fintech Ecosystems Middle East & Africa Trending

KPMG Commits to Development of Saudi Arabia’s Innovation Ecosystem With Launch of Third GTI

KPMG in Saudi Arabia has partnered with the General Authority for SMEs (Monsha’at) as it launches the third annual Global Tech Innovator (GTI) competition. This competition is set out to recognise leading tech innovators in the Kingdom. These innovators will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges, enabling them to get global exposure and the chance to pitch against tech innovators across the globe.

The winner of the finals in Saudi Arabia will get the chance to compete against the winners from more than 25 countries present at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. The partnership between the two organisations reflects KPMG’s commitment to supporting the development of Saudi Arabia’s innovation ecosystem. It also shows Monsha’at’s dedication to fostering the growth of the country’s start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Putting Saudi startups in the spotlight

“This competition comes as part of our global strategy to empower and support entrepreneurs and technology pioneers to scale their ideas and innovations into success stories,” commented Khalil Ibrahim Al Sedais, regional managing partner – Riyadh at KPMG in Saudi Arabia. “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 and put our Saudi startups in the spotlight.”

Saud Alsabhan, vice governor, entrepreneurship at Monsha’at, commented: “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. It aims to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the Kingdom. It will leverage the expertise and resources of both organisations to provide aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups with the right exposure, guidance and mentorship.”

The competition is now open and the last date for submitting the online application form is 30 June 2023. Local finals will be held on 30 August in KPMG’s Insights Center in its Riyadh head office in front of a panel of judges that will be announced over the coming months.

In 2022, OTO, a provider of innovative e-commerce delivery management technologies, won the second GTI competition in Saudi Arabia.

“A business can be a pure technology company, tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven company. Regardless, we acknowledge the potential of these entities to shape the future. With the GTI initiative, we invite entrepreneurs to showcase and pitch their ideas. We want them to open the doors to becoming tomorrow’s success story,” according to Dr. Samer Abdallah, head of ICT Sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia and a judge on the panel.

Judging process

“Each pitching competition will be judged by a panel consisting of investors, industry experts, entrepreneurs and KPMG professionals. Each one 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,” added Dr. Abdallah.

Start-ups with a foundation in tech and strong societal impact are especially invited to participate. In 2022, HiiROC, the UK-based start-up and developer of a system to produce low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen, was crowned the global GIT winner. It managed to win and overcome fierce competition from over 1,100 applicants across 22 countries and jurisdictions during the national stages.

The countries/regions/jurisdictions participating in the 2023 competition include:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Nigeria
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • Kuwait, South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Related posts

Visa Launches AI Advisory Practice to Enhance Client AI Capabilities

The Fintech Times

Fiserv Acquire Access To Alliance Data’s Payment Service: Bread

Francis Bignell

Award-winning Shariah-based fintech firm Yielders is pioneering the growth of Islamic finance

Manisha Patel