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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 14 November 2019

  • NERv Technology wins US$500,000 in cash, Shenzen Prize to expand in China, and thousands of dollars of in-kind-support.

  • Winner selected from 100,000 entrants from 185 countries, following year-long competition conducted by the Misk Global Forum.

  • The other top five finalists were Koniku Inc. (USA), Red Sea Farms (Saudi Arabia), Sumato-ID (Argentina) and SUN Mobility (India).

The global finals of the 2019 Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) concluded today at the fourth edition of the Misk Global Forum (MGF). The winner was NERv Technology Inc. ( from Canada, an innovative monitoring system for post-operative patients that strives to ensure that no patient loses their life because of an undetected post-operative complication. NERv Tech. received a US$500,000 cash prize, in addition to a number of support and in-kind-opportunities from EWC partners around the world. This included the “Shenzen Prize” to help the company expand in China. 

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Amr Abdelgawad, COO and co-founder of NERv Tech., said: “the experience has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve been around like-minded individuals from hundreds of different countries, speaking different languages, engaging with people from different cultures, but we all have one thing in mind – we’re all persistent and working really hard to make our startups a success. To be the winner today is a testament to everything we’ve been doing, we’ve been working really hard for five years in order to make this dream a reality.” 

The EWC global finals in Riyadh were the culmination of a year-long competition organised by the Misk Global Forum and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), along with a number of regional and strategic partners including Global Silicon Valley Labs (GSV Labs) and the Global Education and Leadership Foundation (tGELF). Over the course of 2019, 102,000 entrants from 187 countries were narrowed down through national and regional finals to 100 startups from 67 countries. 

Arriving in Riyadh last week, the 100 finalists enjoyed a two-day bootcamp at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), to make last-minute adjustments and improvements to their pitches under the eye of expert mentors, and with feedback from each other. Over the two days of the Misk Global Forum, these 100 startups were gradually narrowed down through heats and elimination stages to a final five. Taking to the stage, the finalists were selected by a panel of four international judges, all of them world leaders in business and entrepreneurship, and an audience vote. The final five were:

  • 1 st place: NERv Technology Inc. from Canada
  • 2 nd place: Koniku Inc. from the United States
  • 3 rd place: Red Sea Farms from Saudi Arabia
  • 4 th place: Sumato-ID from Argentina
  • 5 th place: SUN Mobility from India

Abdulrahman Al Suhaymi, who leads the EWC, the flagship entrepreneurship initiative at Misk, said: “Firstly, huge congratulations to our finalists and to NERv Technology. They are truly inspirational. While we called this event the finals, it’s really just part of the longer entrepreneurial journey all startups are on together. There are no losers in the EWC; all the entrants are now part of a truly global network of fellow innovators. They’ve all won the most important things to any startup: global experience, insight into new markets, and potential partners and collaborators. We’re incredibly proud and excited for them all and look forward to seeing what they achieve next.” 

Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, said: “Through the Entrepreneurship World Cup, our focus is on making it possible for anyone – anywhere – to start and scale a new company that solves a problem or fills a need. These entrepreneurs, not just the winners but everyone that participated in this competition, have already taken the next step in their journey by trying, learning and competing. Through their startups and through their passion, they will make the world a better place.”

The 2019 Entrepreneurship World Cup was the largest and most diverse global pitch competition of its kind. The next edition of the EWC will launch in 2020, continuing throughout the year to discover and empower new entrepreneurs from across the globe.