The road to the roadshow

 
 
There's a lot of planning that goes into putting on a national roadshow at Wa'ed.

But the Wa'ed team has risen to the challenge. On June 16, we officially launched our six-city Wa'ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow. With dates in Yanbu, Jubail, Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, and Jeddah, the outlines of our September-to-December journey are set.

Still, there is much work to be done.

 
Hitting the road to plan a roadshow. The Wa'ed team with colleagues from Wadi Makkah, the main sponsor of Wa'ed's December 6 Entrepreneurship Roadshow in Makkah.
 
Before we launched the roadshow, a Wa'ed team visited the six cities and made arrangements with our sponsors: The Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, Monsha'at, Wadi Makkah, Namaa Almunawarah and KAUST. 

At one meeting, Yanbu Governor Sa’ad bin Marzooq Al Suhaimi invited the Wa'ed team to make a presentation to the Yanbu Chamber of Commerce. We were humbled by the governor's offer. The Yanbu Chamber gathering opened new doors for Wa'ed, and we look forward to our roadshow in Yanbu on September 21.

 


 
Raed Al-Bakawi is Chief Operating Officer of Wa'ed
The day before we launched the roadshow campaign, Wa'ed held a press briefing in Dhahran for 10 top Saudi journalists. The all-day briefing drew reporters from Al Arabiya television, the Saudi Press Agency, Al Eqtisadiah, Arabian Business, Arab News, Al Yaoum, and Makkah Newspaper, among others.

Journalists were given a deep-dive into Wa'ed and its venture capital, loan and incubation businesses, and presented with details on the roadshow. The briefing generated good coverage in the Saudi press, including a two-minute segment on Al Arabiya television and print coverage in more than 20 newspapers.

 
Yacoub Al-Saleh, the Wa'ed PR and Communications Head, presenting the roadshow to the media. Ten top Saudi journalists attended Wa'ed's June 15 press briefing in Dhahran.

Hours after the first reports appeared, the first entrepreneurs submitted their applications to our online roadshow portal. The response so far has been steady, and we look forward to welcoming many Saudi-based entrepreneurs to our events.

During our launch, we received a big push from a 2-minute endorsement video of the Wa'ed Entrepreneurship Roadshow by Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser. In the video, Mr. Nasser stressed the importance of innovation to Aramco and said the future of the Kingdom would be made by entrepreneurs.

Yanbu Governor Saad bin Marzooq al Suhaimi, with microphone, asked the Wa'ed advance team to present their plans to the Yanbu Chamber of Commerce.

The video was widely shared on social media, as was a separate Wa'ed Roadshow promotional video that conveyed the excitement surrounding the roadshow. This video has also been widely viewed on the internet, and we are gratified by the strong interest.

There is much work to be done before the first Roadshow kicks off September 6 in Jubail. But the Wa'ed team is committed to a successful campaign, and we are already on the road searching for Saudi's next transformative entrepreneurs. And we have hit the ground running.