2020 was undoubtedly a disruptive year for startups around the world. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, some startups continued to grow and thrive. In Saudi Arabia, in particular, there are many examples of entrepreneurs innovating to solve problems, better our world and promote sustainability.
Food waste is a global issue that costs an average of $35 billion every year. Almost a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted, while millions worldwide suffer from poverty and hunger. Uvera is changing the future of food waste by using chemical-free ultraviolet (UV) light technology to destroy several types of bacteria, viruses and pathogens that cause food spoilage, resulting in increased shelf life for fresh food.
Founded in 2019 by Asrar Damdam — a KAUST student and TAQADAM startup founder — she took her idea to Silicon Valley, where she developed the startup business plan during an entrepreneurship training program at Draper University. Damdam is now based at KAUST and is further developing and testing the innovative technology at KAUST Core labs.