Creating the Launchpad to Unlock Human Capital in MENA

A bootcamp to accelerate early stage founders and companies in future of learning and work

The task at hand is clear. The latent potential to be unlocked is transformational. An estimated 300 million people will join MENA’s workforce over the next 20 years. Almost 1 billion people will live in MENA by the end of the century.

Today, over 110 million youth call the region home with over 12M in KSA alone. The decisions we make today will chart our tomorrow. The innovations & companies deployed around the future of work and learning will determine whether tomorrow’s headlines talk about a youth bulge or a youth dividend.

At BLDR Ventures, we view our role as helping to reinvent the learn to earn cycle across MENA. We want to unlock MENA’s potential.

We believe we can do this by getting the best founders and talent across the world to work on these problems – thereby unlocking billions of dollars in opportunities and changing the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

To generate these transformational solutions, founders need a launchpad that can catapult them forward – helping them with the right resources and tools to build faster & better.

BLDR’s Pre-Seed Human Capital Launchpad, aims to provide up to 14 regional early-stage founders with the opportunity to launch their startups tackling the biggest opportunities around the future of learning and work.

The Launchpad will do this by offering founders access to industry experts, mentorship, networking, funding, and other essential resources. The Launchpad is not a theoretical experience, it’s an exercise in hyper-learning and building. It’s a contact-sport.

Over the course of the intensive 4-week program, these founders will be guided through various stages of their entrepreneurial journey, enabling them to:

  • Validate the problem they are working on
  • Ground their solution in learning-science & human psychology
  • Develop a robust and rapid framework for finding product-market fit
  • Deeply engage with the fundamentals of entrepreneurial leadership
  • Pitch to a set of regional and global investors

The Launchpad is not for everybody. It is only for those BLDRs obsessed with creating a better tomorrow and willing to dedicate their lives to doing so. We are looking for early-stage founders that are:

  • Obsessed with an important problem in the space, and can clearly articulate a unique thesis
  • Have experience building and a bias towards action
  • Ready and committed to launch into entrepreneurship full-time. Obsession is not for side hustles
  • Are pre-revenue, and could potentially be pre-product but have an MVP
  • Committed to being in Riyadh for the first week of the program

At BLDR, we have already built 4 businesses and failed at building many more. From our experience, we’ve developed a bias for solutions that are:

  • Asset light and can scale to meet the demands of emerging markets
  • Lean heavily on gameful design and human motivation
  • Aligns stakeholder incentives and outcomes
  • Pedagogy first, drawing on the latest advances in the learning sciences
  • Pioneer legal frameworks in white spaces
  • Learn from models in similarly resourced environments

All our strong opinions are loosely held. We are passionate about learning as we build before anything else and relish being proven wrong. In that light, it is important to underscore that we take a very broad view of learning and earning (and everything in between). We are not constrained by a traditional definition and labels on sectors, but are inspired and energised to work across spaces that will drive the path forward for the future of work and learning.

If you believe you have what it takes to become a BLDR, please apply here.