Frequently Asked Questions
Before Applying to OQAL
- Stellar team, with complementary skills and capabilities for leading and scaling startups
- Launched product that’s tech-enabled, digital, and innovative with scalability potential
- Proven and viable business model, with reasonable traction and a clear financial plan
- Defensibility, competitive edge, and a higher barrier to entry
- Clear and reasonable funding allocation and product plans
- Full-time founding team or a team willing to commit
- Startup is at its early stages (seed to series A)
Yes, while keeping in mind that each opportunity should be in a separate application.
You cannot, as all chapters of OQAL, follow the same evaluation criteria when evaluating opportunities. The evaluation any opportunity receives in a particular chapter is the evaluation that you will receive upon applying to another chapter unless there are fundamental change and development in the opportunity and the pitch deck.
We always encourage founders and entrepreneurs who were previously disqualified to re-apply again after making some progress and reflecting on the feedback provided to them during the previous evaluation.
The provision of these studies is a useful addition to your application, but it is not a mandatory acceptance condition.
Yes, you can apply to OQAL as we invest in opportunities and startups from across MENA; however, we focus on companies that aspire to expand and service the Saudi Market
After Submitting the Application
The evaluation process goes through two main stages:
- The Screening, which ultimately depends on the information provided in the application form; during this stage, the entrepreneur will be contacted to clarify and to answer some questions. Your success in this stage qualifies you to be interviewed by our Opportunities Committee.
- The Opportunities Committee Interviews, during which the entrepreneur presents the startup to OQAL’s Opportunities Committee, consists of investors from various knowledge domains. Passing this stage qualifies you to present to OQAL investors at the pitching events.
It usually takes 2-3 weeks to obtain the initial evaluation result, while the second stage will receive the result after a maximum of 3 working days.
If you did not get a response within this period, you should contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the result.
Opportunities and applications are evaluated periodically, and the necessary action is taken within 2-3 weeks. If you did not get a response within this period, you should contact us via email@example.com to inquire about the result.
Yes. However, we always emphasize the importance of ensuring that the application is completely filled out and the information provided is accurate to avoid rejecting your application.
The Opportunities Committee meets to interview the entrepreneurs once or twice a month. Then the nominated entrepreneurs are notified of the dates in an adequate time before each interview.
We provide the entrepreneurs with an interview guide before the interview; following the guide’s tips will ensure that you manage the time limit properly and your pitch is thorough and clear.
You will be given 5-7 minutes to present and introduce your startup to the Committee without interruption; then, you will have a maximum of 10-15 minutes for Q&A.
After OQAL’s Pitching Events
We directly connect investors with entrepreneurs based on their interest in a particular startup to start coordinating the investment negotiation meetings. Additionally, we connect investors interested in the same startup/opportunity and coordinate and facilitate the communication, co-investment, and syndication.
Yes, you can postpone answering specific questions that you prefer to discuss individually with the investor.
A member of the founding team is sufficient to present the startup and answer investors’ questions on behalf of the team, adhering to each entrepreneur’s time limit and maintaining the coherence and sequence of ideas within the pitch.
We support our entrepreneurs by connecting and coordinating with interested investors to start the investment negotiation and discussions, enabling foreign startups backed by OQAL’s investors to obtain the Entrepreneurship License to expand to the Saudi market. Additionally, to facilitate the closing of investment rounds through the Angel Co-investment Program from the Saudi Venture Capital Company.
OQAL is a non-profit endowment with a platform that connects innovative, scalable startups and founders with seasoned angel investors. Accordingly, OQAL’s investors (members) personally invest in startups that fit their investment thesis and strategy.
We are targeting scalable and innovative startups in their seed up to Series A. Hence, the investment amount barely exceeds 7 million SAR per investment round.
OQAL does not offer financing loans but rather smart capital and an angel investment into scalable startups for future or direct equity.
OQAL provides mentorship sessions for entrepreneurs and startups that are potentially qualified for our pitching events. Still, they need to make some adjustments and improvements to parts of their pitch to be more ready. OQAL does not provide general advisory sessions.
The whole process takes approximately 4-7 weeks, during which the applications are vetted and reviewed, then committee interviews are conducted; lastly, the qualified startups present at OQAL’s pitching events.
OQAL does not get any fees or financial incentives from the closed deals or the investment process. We are keen to provide adequate support for our investors and entrepreneurs until the investment is made and the deal is closed.
The Opportunities Committee is responsible for assessing and evaluating the startup’s eligibility and readiness through conducting personal interviews with entrepreneurs and founders to evaluate the startup’s ability to raise from OQAL angel investors during OQAL’s pitching events. The Committee consists of investors (members of OQAL) from various knowledge domains, including technical, administrative, financial, etc.
OQAL pitching events are private and exclusive to OQAL investors and partners. During the event, innovative startups have the chance to pitch their startups to investors. Accordingly, we connect the entrepreneurs to the investors based on the investors’ interest in a particular startup.
It usually takes between 2 weeks to a month to complete the assessment and evaluation processes and to present to OQAL’s investors during the pitching events. After that, the duration varies depending on the period of negotiation between the entrepreneur and investors.