How KAUST’s Latest Seed Fund Winners Are Shaping the Future of Saudi Arabia

Efficient water desalination. Affordable nanotechnology. Accurate 3D scanning. The winners of KAUST’s 2013 Seed Fund Fall Round are at the cutting edge of the technologies shaping Saudi Arabia’s future.

This article will briefly introduce the KAUST Seed Fund and summarize each of the projects presented by the 4 winning entrepreneurial teams.

Introduction to the KAUST Seed Fund

The KAUST Seed Fund is a product development funding mechanism run by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology that provides up to $200,000 over a period of 24 months to entrepreneurial teams. It helps bridge the gap found at the lab and patent stage of development, offering entrepreneurs support at their greatest time of need.

According to Amin M. Al-Shibani, the Vice President of Economic Development at KAUST, the KAUST Seed Fund has funded 21 projects in its first 6 rounds, creating 3 companies and 15 new jobs.

The 2013 Fall Round Winners

The high-impact projects behind KAUST’s 2013 Seed Fund Fall Round are as follows:

Falcon Viz
Falcon Viz is a new aerial scanning and modeling system that offers accurate, high-resolution scans and complete 3D models through an automated, repeatable, and cost-effective process.

Low-Cost & High-Quality Quantum Dots
As the name implies, the Low-Cost & High-Quality Quantum Dots team has discovered a method for creating quantum dots, which are semiconductor particles up to 10 nanometers in size, of high quality at a lower price than competitors can offer.

ROFix (Reverse Osmosis Fouling Index)
The team behind the ROFix project has created a new type of device that can predict both when and why membrane fouling will occur within a reverse osmosis water desalination plant.

EFD (Early Fouling Detection for Membrane Systems)
The team responsible for the EFD project has designed the first device that can monitor and characterize membrane fouling during the early stages of its occurrence within a reverse osmosis desalination plant.

As I have had the honor of being involved in KAUST’s VentureLab and Seed Fund initiatives in one way or another during this and past rounds, either as an invited judge, screener, mentor, guest speaker, or simply attending guest, I would like to share my thoughts on the pitches presented by the latest winners with you over the next few weeks.

Please check back for a detailed analysis of the Falcon Viz team’s pitch next, along with my personal opinion on it. I will be covering each pitch in a separate post because each one deserves a close look.

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