AstroLabs partners with The Royal Commission of AlUla to accelerate business transformation under Saudi Vision 2030

PepsiCo partners with AstroLabs and collaborates with MCIT to empower Saudi Arabian e-commerce entrepreneurs 

Riyadh, 14 February 2023: In line with the Kingdom’s vision to diversify the economy by 2030, PepsiCo — one of the leading global food and beverage manufacturers — has collaborated with AstroLabs, an ecosystem builder in the MENA region, and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) to launch an innovative new offering for local SMEs. The entities have joined forces to establish the ‘Scale Up Accelerator’ program in Saudi Arabia, empowering entrepreneurs across the Kingdom to fulfill the potential of their businesses. 

Fully aligned with Vision 2030, the strategic partnership marks the latest step taken by PepsiCo and AstroLabs to prepare young Saudi entrepreneurs and businesses for success. Launched in mid-January 2023, the program plans to invite 100 entrepreneurs to accelerate their online ventures into full-suite e-commerce businesses. 

Crucially, the program will provide up-and-coming startups across the Kingdom with an instructive platform to accomplish their business goals. It will offer access to vital mentorship, as well as educational and training opportunities, equipping them with the tools to succeed in the modern world of business and work.

Participants will be engaged in an affirming environment that fosters growth and development, with experienced and accomplished experts sharing their insights and key learnings. Participants will be exposed to e-commerce fundamentals, gaining an in-depth understanding of how to build an e-commerce plan, invest, and set up businesses in the Kingdom. They will also learn how to improve their technical capabilities and grow their businesses online.

MCIT seeks in this collaboration with PepsiCo to enable entrepreneurs in this program and support them through the “Digital Perks Program” in the Center of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE). The objective of this program is to accelerate the adoption of technology and entrepreneurial culture that contribute to creating new jobs and localizing technologies. 

PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, focuses on the creation of sustainable and innovative solutions to socioeconomic issues. Through this partnership, PepsiCo provides support to young entrepreneurs to transform their business vision into successful business ventures. 

Aamer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer at PepsiCo – Middle East, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with AstroLabs and CODE to launch the innovative ‘Scale Up Accelerator’ program. Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and changemakers to fulfil their potential, this unique new offering will not only prime budding business leaders for success, but it will also help safeguard the Kingdom’s future, setting it apart as the 27th largest ecommerce market in the world.” 

He added: “As a brand deeply rooted in Saudi Arabia, we are fully committed to supporting its growth and development. We believe that this offering will do exactly that, preparing tomorrow’s leaders for success in an ever-evolving economic landscape.”

Chief Executive Officer at AstroLabs, Roland Daher noted, “We have been working with multinational corporations and government stakeholders across the region for almost a decade and have seen first-hand the impact of building effective digital networks for up-and-coming brands. Executing this program with PepsiCo has given us the opportunity to capitalize on the exponential growth we’ve been observing in Saudi Arabia. AstroLabs will equip this inaugural cohort with all the necessary know-how, practical skills and tools needed to succeed and scale as a local e-commerce business in the Kingdom.” 

This partnership aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 and continuous efforts to advance digital entrepreneurship, enhance high-tech skills, and foster a culture of innovative solutions. The Digital Perks Program would support these emerging businesses, and will not only be able to thrive, but rather partake in shaping an exciting future for the Kingdom and the evolving economy. 

In line with Vision 2030 and PepsiCo’s ’Proudly Saudi‘ campaign — an initiative launched to underline the brand’s dedication to serving the Kingdom’s community — the innovative accelerator program reiterates the food and beverage company’s commitment to aiding the country’s transformation. 

To learn more about the Scale Up Accelerator program, please visit:


About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than US$70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than US$1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business.  For more information, visit

About AstroLabs: 

AstroLabs is a technology ecosystem builder that enables the growth of people, companies, and innovation capacities on a regional level. With 10 years of active building in MENA and a vibrant community across 3 coworking spaces in the UAE & KSA, AstroLabs is MENA’s trusted partner in solving the innovation challenges of tomorrow by navigating the technology landscapes of today. 

Partnering with key industry shapers, including governmental entities, corporates & enterprises, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, AstroLabs designs and facilitates digital transformations through business expansion and market entry operations, effective upskilling, entrepreneurial,  and innovation programs, as well as value-focused talent recruitment practices.