Rising Stars: Mirai Solar

Rising Stars: Mirai Solar

As business ventures that develop cutting-edge offerings on the basis of engineering innovation or scientific discoveries and advances, startups in the deep tech space are companies known to be working on the next major tech breakthrough- and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can proudly claim to be home to several of them now.

Following a review of their offerings, their potential, the funds they have raised, and many other such factors, we picked the top five emerging deep tech startups in the Kingdom today, and here's one of them: Mirai Solar, a Saudi Arabia-based deep tech startup that is disrupting the global greenhouse market by replacing existing shade cloths with foldable, retractable, transparent solar modules.

It was in 2019 that Mirai Solar CEO Michael Salvador and his team started working on building solar panels that are a hybrid of traditional photovoltaic panels and plastic sheets or fabric. These panels allow light to pass through them, and unlike a conventional shading screen, they also use the blocked sunlight to generate electricity.”Since then, we have defined our mission as to enable sustainable, large-scale agriculture, and induce freshwater savings by empowering net zero-energy food production facilities with lower operating costs than current alternatives, even in arid regions,” Salvador explains. “Our vision is to be a pioneer of energy-producing shading solutions for different applications, thereby assisting other businesses meeting their sustainability goals.”

Image courtesy Mirai Solar.

The startup’s offerings can be used in a number of ways- for zero-energy greenhouses, for generating electricity in carparks and then using it to recharge electric cars, and for foldable modules that can be deployed on mobile shipping containers and thus extend their electricity generating areas. Salvador highlights here that developing these products in Saudi Arabia has been aided by the Kingdom’s willingness to support innovation, and transform its economy. And given his experience in the domain, Salvador’s advice to other deep tech entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia is to be open minded, understand the culture, and get connected.

“There is a vast entrepreneurial community that is generally very supportive, and willing to help maneuver the system, which is always the most challenging part,” Salvador says. “By now, there are many local accelerator and incubator programs of high quality, as well as many online services tailored for local and foreign entrepreneurs. Saudi Arabia is setting itself up to attract entrepreneurial talent globally, which is a new trend that will diversify even more the opportunities, and raise its technology and innovation level at large."

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