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The USA’s Reme-D Takes Top Prize in LEAP 2024’s US$1 Million Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Challenge

The USA’s Reme-D Takes Top Prize in LEAP 2024’s US$1 Million Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Challenge

While the LEAP Award carried a prize of US$250,000, the winners in the five other categories were awarded individual prizes of US$150,000

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA, March 8, 2024 / -- American start-up Reme-D Inc walked away with a prize fund of US$250,000 after winning the coveted LEAP Award at the annual Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Competition on the final day of LEAP 2024, the world’s most attended technology event, at Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Malham.

Powered by Saudi Arabia’s National Technology Development Programme (NTDP) in collaboration with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Misk Foundation, this year’s Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Competition saw four expert judges present awards across six categories with entrants segmented by size, operational age, number of employees, funding, scale, and societal impact.

The third edition of the annual competition saw 90 global startups whittled down to 12 finalists selected to pitch before a judging panel comprising former and current Dragons’ Den stars James Caan and Steven Bartlett, respectively, as well as Baroness Karren Brady CBE – aide to The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar – and Amal Dokan, General Partner at 500 Global.

While the LEAP Award carried a prize of US$250,000, the winners in the five other categories were awarded individual prizes of US$150,000, creating a total prize pool of US$1 million.

After claiming the LEAP Award for the most outstanding entry across the competition, Salma Tammam, the Founder and CEO of Reme-D, a deep-tech start-up specialising in the development and manufacture of cutting-edge diagnostic kits for both human and animal diseases, said: “It’s been a really tough competition, so we’re really happy to be chosen from such an amazing pool of global startups. The prize will do wonders for our company; winning is proof that hard work pays off!”

Commenting on the selected winners, Michael Champion, CEO of LEAP organiser Tahaluf, the joint venture between Informa PLC, the Events Investment Fund (EIF) and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), said: “Congratulations to the six winning entries in this year’s Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Competition. This is why Saudi is getting so much attention worldwide - it's putting the customer, the company, the entrepreneur first, showing that it has emerged as a globally dynamic accelerator for startups and investors.”

The ‘Technology for Humanity Award’ recognised the startup that best embodied the values of sustainability and social impact and was awarded to Angelswing, a South Korean cloud and web-based drone data platform that reconstructs physical job sites in the digital world with drone-captured imagery.

The ‘Shooting Star Award’ recognised the early-stage startup under three years old and was awarded to India’s Newtrace, whose line of electrolysers is based on a revolutionary new technology offering green hydrogen production at up to three times lower capex costs. The Newtrace systems are modular and scalable, making them suitable for various applications.

The ‘Into New Worlds Award’ for the most impressive startup across the Metaverse and Web3 space was won by WATEER, a digital receipt-as-a-service (RaaS) company that aims to reduce paper waste.

The ‘Aviatrix Award’ for the most innovative startup pioneered by women founders was secured by Saudi-based Playbook, a membership-based education and investment network dedicated to unlocking the leadership and financial potential of females worldwide.

The ‘Artificial Intelligence Awards’ for the startup presenting the most exciting, ground-breaking use of AI, was won by Kazakhstan-based CerebraAI, which has developed an AI decision support system to help physicians understand patient needs and map against millions of patient parameters to generate a unique pattern of diagnosis.

The inaugural Rocket Fuel winner from 2022, Maqsam, the leading Arabic AI-powered Contact Centre Solution, was also in attendance this year. Maqsam started as a cloud telephony solution, removing barriers between countries by offering local numbers in more than 200 cities and tackling regional complexities focusing on the underserved Arabic language. Fast forward to today, Maqsam has evolved to integrate AI advancements into customer engagement to facilitate smoother sales and customer support operations.

In the vibrant atmosphere of the Rocket Fuel finale, Fouad Jeryes, co-founder of Maqsam, alongside Sinan Taifour, demonstrated the revolutionary impact of Maqsam on customer conversations with the introduction of Arabic AI technologies.

“We are thrilled to be back at LEAP as it provides an exceptional opportunity to showcase our latest innovations and connect with industry leaders,” said Jeryes. “LEAP offers a unique opportunity to engage with our community, network with potential investors, partners, and clients, and stay updated with the latest AI advancement in the tech industry.”

CODE Stage Competition Winners Revealed
Saudi’s Centre of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE) stage teemed with excitement on the final day of LEAP 2024 as 60 Saudi-based entrepreneurs discovered the winners of the entity’s Sports Tech Challenge. Taking top spot and a SAR 150,000 prize was fanZ, an interactive platform that could revolutionise football experiences. The Sports Tech Challenge ceremony was followed by CODE’s latest Software Accelerator update, with four budding tech entrepreneurs pitching business solutions to event guests. The Software Accelerator launched last year to further empower the Kingdom’s startup ecosystem.

LEAP 2024 this week shattered its own attendance record by 25 per cent, with a turnout of 215,000, as well as recording onsite investment announcements of US$13.45 billion.

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About LEAP:
Saudi Arabia is putting itself at the forefront of emerging tech through large-scale adoption and ambitious pilot projects. Its ambition will be showcased on a global stage and the Kingdom will become a hub that connects three continents. LEAP is a manifestation of this ambition. A seismic event that accelerates the adoption of technology and transforms Saudi Arabia’s economy. Together with LEAP, the Kingdom will see mass tech adoption, a shift away from oil as the principal strategic economic resource, and instead become a regional hub for both traditional and emerging technology.

Saudi Arabia has an endless ambition to shoot for something beyond that thought possible, to achieve a significant impact from game-changing tech and globally disruptive projects and to always keep one eye on the stars.

About Tahaluf:
Headquartered in Riyadh, Tahaluf brings together strategically important commercial communities from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the wider Gulf region, and from around the world to a portfolio of world-class exhibitions and digital platforms.

Tahaluf is a joint venture partnership between Informa PLC, the world’s largest tradeshow organiser, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), and Events Investment Fund (EIF). Sela, the Saudi-owned event production company renowned for its creation of spectacular event experiences, intends to join the joint venture in the near future.

Following the highly successful launches in the Kingdom of award-winning tech events LEAP, Black Hat Middle East, the artificial intelligence event DeepFest, Cityscape Global, the Global Health Exhibition and InFlavour for the food industry, Tahaluf plans to launch further diverse original concept events for the Infrastructure sector, the VC community, and multiple other sectors including Health, Consumer, Aviation, Consumer and Luxury. Tahaluf will also bring iconic Informa brands to Saudi Arabia, including CPHI and Cosmoprof, serving the global pharmaceutical and beauty industries, respectively.
For more information about Tahaluf, visit

Nour Ibrahim
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