Entrepreneurship at KAUST

Our mission is to plant the seeds of an “innovation ecosystem” in the Kingdom—a network of startups, entrepreneurs, investors and others, all committed to helping great entrepreneurial ideas succeed.

We offer training and mentorship to entrepreneurs both on and off campus, from scientists and students looking to spin out their inventions into new companies, to Saudi business owners interested in adopting an entrepreneurial approach to business growth.

Starting a business requires more than just good ideas. It takes careful planning and foresight, market knowledge, funding and ongoing support. KAUST helps entrepreneurs at all stages of the process, from ideation to launch to funding and beyond. We also help inventors protect and commercialize their inventions. KAUST is particularly interested in supporting new ventures that are aligned with the university’s research activities and that will have local or regional impacts and create jobs.


The KAUST startup process

We help entrepreneurs protect their inventions, create business propositions, develop business plans and get funding for their ideas.


IP Evaluation and Protection

For startups, intellectual property (IP) is a major source of value and a tool for attracting investors. Before making any public disclosure or communication of your innovation, we encourage you to talk with the KAUST technology transfer office to disclose and protect your IP.



Entrepreneurs can get started on the right foot by taking advantage of the entrepreneurship training options available at KAUST.


Business Plan Development

Entrepreneurs must clearly articulate their business ideas and how they will be carried out. This includes an understanding of market potential, competitors, revenue model and funding requirements.



If KAUST decides to fund a startup concept, we will determine how much to invest and set terms and conditions.


Ongoing Guidance and Operational Support

Through equity investments, we become a long-term partner with startups. We help with recruiting, business development and incorporation. We also provide space in the Research & Technology Park and connections with investors, in addition to other forms of support.