The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has organized and hosted the International Version of the Techstars - Startup Weekend Artificial Intelligence edition from 29 nov to 1 dec 2018 at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.

Aiming to support the pioneers and innovators of innovative AI solutions and support innovation-driven entrepreneurship in the field of artificial intelligence as a way to address the challenges of sustainability of private sector growth. ICD invited many public and private entities and universities supporting entrepreneurs to participate in the Forum by sending specialized representatives in artificial intelligence, technical disciplines, bold investment, direct and indirect lending, growth and sustainability programs, and entrepreneurship to support ideas and challenges. Participants and to find innovative solutions using artificial intelligence.

It also invited the accelerators and business incubators to present their services to the participants to attract the winning teams in the forum to be among the list of beneficiaries of specialized acceleration services.

ICD did not overlook the invitation of many investment funds, financiers and investors to attend the forum to integrate all services under one roof and one objective is to support entrepreneurs and projects emerging in the field of artificial intelligence.

ICD also developed an IDEA application to register participants as well as an electronic platform that brings together pioneers, investors and mentors to enrich their collaboration to transform small ideas and projects into mega projects.

The event was organized simultaneously in several cities around the world in the same period. Experts gathered in the field of artificial intelligence to maximize the impact of its use to form a nucleus of practical solutions to social, institutional and economic challenges.

The number of participants in the event was more than 120 participants. On the first day of the event, they learned about the objectives of the forum and presented their ideas to the audience. The vote was then taken to select the best ideas on which 15 teams were formed. By the start of the second day, the teams had started working on 15 projects using artificial intelligence techniques. All teams received guidance and assistance from more than 37 participating mentors, specializing in various fields including Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Investment, Design, Analysis of Large Data and Open Data. It is noteworthy that these projects varied in terms of areas serving different sectors.

At the end of the third day, the participating teams presented their projects to a panel of 16 arbitrators from all disciplines required to evaluate such projects. The committee decided to select the winning teams in each of the three categories: classification of the business model and classification of design and implementation and classification of customer verification.

The winning teams in the first category (first place - Mirror project. The second place - the Alzheimer's project, third place - the 911 BDS project) --- the winning teams in the second classification (first place - Sign me in, Third place - I have a voice) --- The winning teams in the third category (first place - Sign me in, second place - 911 BDS, third place - Blindate project)

Sign me in was awarded the highest award without competition and thus had the opportunity to attend regional and global events to be held in 2019 in Abu Dhabi (AIM Startup 2019), in Paris, France, and in Montreal, Canada.

The awards also included the Best Female Team and Best Entrepreneur Award.

At the end of the ceremony, the CEO of ICD, Mr. Ayman Amin Sajini, and the representatives of the sponsoring companies handed over the awards to the winning teams and encouraged them to work on further developing the projects so that they would become commercially viable, thus contributing to raising private sector productivity indicators in Saudi Arabia.

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