Entrepreneurship, Events and Awards

StartUp MENA awards €2000 cash prize to top pitching start-up at RiseUp

Winning Egyptian start-up, ZEX, was called to the stage to receive €2000 cash prize in the exclusive “Investor Lounge” hosted…

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Winning Egyptian start-up, ZEX, was called to the stage to receive €2000 cash prize in the exclusive “Investor Lounge” hosted by Startup MENA as part of the event line up at this year’s Rise Up Summit. After showcasing their app with a killer pitch and an advertising solution with great potential, international and local investors unanimously agreed to reward the recently launched ZEX team with the cash prize to support the new and upcoming business.

The ‘pitch & mentoring’ platform in the Investor Lounge successfully showcased Egypt’s entrepreneurial talent and provided invaluable feedback to entrepreneurs. Startup MENA presented five of the best and most prominent tech startups currently rocking Egypt’s ecosystem to a line up of 30 international and local investors eager to support and invest in Egyptian start-ups. “It was an amazing experience – the level of knowledge from mentors and investors was beyond any events we have attended in Egypt”, says Moataz Kotb, Founder of ZEX. He continues, “…the knowledge accumulated from these sessions alone will keep us working for the next 2-3 months”.

There was a significant mix of international and local investors who took their time to be part of the Summit this year in Cairo. International investors like Playfair Capital and Hoxton Ventures took the journey from London to Cairo to especially attend this edition of Investor Lounge as well as investors Alfonso Von Wuncheim (Future Vents Private EQUITY) and Keith Wallace (De Investeers Club). There were regional and local investors also featured in the Investor Lounge such as Hanan Yousef from OT Ventures, Ziad Mokhtar from Ideavelopers, Hossam Allam from Cairo Angels, Emad Barsoum from 8 Miles, and lastly angel investor and serial entrepreneur Con O’Donnell.

Investor Lounge
Investor Lounge

The pitching line up consisted of some of Egypt’s most interesting fundraising tech startups: Iqraaly, SpeakOL (former Naqeshny), Wall Street Chamber, Instabug and winning start-up Zex. The start-ups were selected from amongst 100 applicants and went through assessments and interviews in order to get through to the top five startups to pitch. “We are very happy with the turnout of this edition of Investor Lounge. We couldn’t have asked for a better line-up of startups”, says JakobKistorp, founding partner of VentureScout.

The format was based upon inviting start-ups to pitch their business idea in five minutes followed by a short Q&A from the investors in the room. Following the pitches was a mentoring session where 10 investors continued to mentor each startup in 20-minute coaching sessions. “This is what really generates value for the startups”, JakobKistorp says. “… and for the investors it is a great way to get to know the teams and their solution better”, he adds.

Over several panels and workshops at RiseUp, Egypt’s entrepreneurs gained interest both in the US and in Europe. Startup MENA was happy to provide a format that can provide Egyptian startups with a global focus. “It’s always interesting to see the startup landscape outside the UK, especially in the Middle East” mentioned Ishaan Malhi, International investor of Playfair Capital

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When and how to start outsourcing your business?

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough…

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough local and international economy, companies have to do what it takes to maintain a steady profit, and find ways to reduce costs.

Outsourcing is becoming a big trend in many industries, due to its many advantages and low costs.

For small and big businesses alike, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Do you build a new team or primary service, buy certain tools or do you outsource for a short time?

That is another way that outsourcing can help.


So, when should you start considering to outsource?

Do you procrastinate when faced with a particular task?

Is it a one-time task? Is it a primary service that your business offers, or something for a specific client or project?

Is it a once a month task? Such as Legal duties, or financial accounting?

Are you still saving up for an expansion? Could you afford an expansion for this task?

Is it a non-essential function of your business?

If you’ve answered all by one of those as yes, then that is when you should be outsourcing.

A definition for outsourcing is “the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”

The reason is simple, because it can be advantageous most of the time.

Your business is saving money, effort, time and energy, making it more efficient on that tasks that truly matter.


Why should a business outsource?

So, you know when you should be looking into it, or maybe you’re interested.

The thought still lingers in your mind, it might be a good idea but why should I?

There are many things that you can consider that could make outsourcing a great opportunity for your business.


1. Employee costs and non-productive hours

Office space, cafeteria benefits, hospital visits, insurance, and lunch breaks are things that cost the company profit per full-time employee.

These are also things you can save on when outsourcing.

These make a full-time employee more than twice as expensive as a short offer for a freelancer.


2. Efficiency

Freelancers and outsourcing give you a special opportunity, an opportunity to capture and use talented people that you may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Talented graphic designers, high-end lawyers, highly-organized accountants, and smart assistants can be found as freelancers, and at a lower-price than full-timers.

They tend to be more efficient as they have stricter deadlines than full-timers, and may be able to do the job better than you or any other current employee.


3. Frees up internal resources

Getting freelancers doesn’t only work as a way to do unrelated or menial tasks, they also function as a way to lift weight off of your shoulders.

Using a content marketing freelancer to prepare content calendars, or receiving content from freelance content creators, can help free up internal resources.

Freeing you and your employees up for other important tasks, tasks that they can handle more efficiently with less of a work load.


What are you waiting for?

As you can see, outsourcing could be a very beneficial strategy for you and your business.

It does come with its own issues, such as communication and delivery of work, but if you plan it right, it will help you and your business thrive.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have another reason why outsourcing won’t be a part of your business strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Events and Awards

Innovation TALK: Are you ready to be comfortably lost?

Think big picture, trends, next generation innovations , these were all farfetched at the time – now at hand and…

Think big picture, trends, next generation innovations , these were all farfetched at the time – now at hand and many more to come.

Those who led the way certainly had the guts to be comfortably lost. They knew they had experience and market know-how but they did not know the destination and were not afraid to fail either. That holds true to all strategic innovations.

This December Cairo hosts an Innovation TALK, first of its kind and in this format.Innovation TALK is half a day of mental triggers meant to inspire next big growth opportunities.

A call out to Investors & Manufacturers who want to make a difference to their growth model and sustain their brands agility to survive in an ever-competitive market and changing consumer habits.

As a first step, the TALK sets ground to what Innovation is not!

It is certainly not improvement and not short term. Next an understanding of consumer, shopper, and retail trends that are and will be shaping the markets. It also answers the question of how to localize global trends – choose what is a good fit to your market and brand .

This TALK is featuring Dahlia Zayed – a long time brand strategy and consumer insight practitioner ( follow her on LInkedIN for updates) who decided to end the year by sharing a download of insights from her TALKs and international forums attendance during 2017.

With the holidays just a foot away, some food for thought to refresh the innovation pipeline and gear 2018 onwards for growth.

Innovation TALK is an exclusive event for investors and businesses who seek growth across all sectors.

Some highlights from Innovation TALK agenda:

  • Key drivers to winning innovations
  • How to adapt your business model to innovation
  • Consumer trends & Emerging new segments: Kidults & Gen M
  • Retail trends: Amazon/ NIVO research on E-Grocery & Private label
  • Wholefoods Research 2018- Ingredients under the spot light
  • Think Google Beverages 2017
  • 2017 innovative launches: Food Matters Expo London
  • Coca Cola Investors ’day Atlanta

It will be held Dec 21st , 2017 9AM to 2PM at Intercontinental City stars Hotel – Cairo organized by FWD Consultancy.

To book your place CLICK HERE

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Digital marketing, Events and Awards, Featured Stories

‘Sadeem’ Digital Competition Opens Door for Next-Gen Arab Social Media Influencers

Aspiring Social Media influencers can now be a part of the biggest digital influencer competition and series in the region….

Aspiring Social Media influencers can now be a part of the biggest digital influencer competition and series in the region. With applications opening on December 1st, ‘Sadeem’ will take candidates on an exciting journey of discovery, creativity, and digital growth that inspires them to achieve their dreams and positively influence the world.

Through a competitive yet entertaining experience that is the first of its kind, Sadeem is incubating future content creators in the Arab world and giving them the chance to connect with digital experts who will help them become the next generation of Arab influencers – ones that entertain, while presenting their virtual communities with inspiring and meaningful content.

Meanwhile, Sadeem’s audience will get to watch their favorite contestants go from zero to hero, through an exciting online reality series (broadcasted on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram) that will culminate in the crowning of the Arab world’s digital super star.

All-star panel of judges

To make that dream come true, the region’s biggest established influencers have come together to host, mentor and judge Sadeem’s participants as they compete in a series of challenges where they will learn to improve their digital content creation skills, unleash their creative expression, and develop affinity to digital growth and branded content strategies.

During its special launch in Beirut in the presence of a number of distinguished local and regional media representatives and social influencers, Sadeem revealed the competition’s panel of judges that includes Kuwait’s Youtube sensation Shuaib Rashed, Egypt’s rising motivational speaker Kareem Esmail, Algeria’s popular online satirist Youcef Zarouta, and Kuwait’s influential fashion blogger Ascia Al Faraj. The two superstar influencers hosting the show’s are Jordanian actress and Youtube celebrity Tima Shomali, and Lebanon’s king of velfies Issam Merheb.

Arab Social Media Influencers; Five phases to achieve

Sadeem will run through five phases.

During the 1st phase, thousands of applicants from every corner in the Arab world will submit their own engaging self-introductory video via http://sadeem.com .

The 2nd phase will have judges filtering submissions down to a hundred auditions. Following a second video submission, Sadeem’s judges will choose the top 20 applicants based on their charisma and digital potential.

The 20 will then fly into phase 3, the Final Qualifiers, where they will go through a thorough range of team-building activities, leading up to the selection of the 9 finalists who will be a part of the 4th and main phase of the competition.

The 4th phase, titled “The Hub”, will be the most intense phase thus far. 9 finalists will fly to Doha where the contestants will attend a series of professional workshops conducted by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube!

In the 5th and final stage of the series, 3 top finalists will fly home to film their “epic challenge video”. The finale will be held on May 12th 2018 to announce Sadeem’s winner.

Exciting prizes

Sadeem’s finalists will take home two million riyals worth of prizes, with the first winner walking away with the Grand Prize of 1 Million Riyals in cash and a trip to San Francisco to visit the headquarters of the major digital companies in the world. The top 9 influencers will win a contract with Sadeem and will have the opportunity to take their new found knowledge and fame to the next level.

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CAMPAIGNS, Events and Awards, Featured Stories

Egypt launches the “World Youth Forum” inauguration campaign

The World Youth Forum (WYF) just kicked off in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, attracting thousands of…

The World Youth Forum (WYF) just kicked off in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, attracting thousands of Egyptian and foreign youth from Egypt and around the world.

The seven-day gathering will witness the participation of official youth representatives aging over 18 years old, leaders of various youth networks, head of states, media figures and around 250 young Egyptian expats.

The marketing campaign included the production of various propaganda films، the main theme for forum inauguration revealed by today filming youth models from around the world، including young Egyptian singer Mohamed El Sharnoby, Algerian Mok Saib, Russian Nicole Knaus, Korean Lessa and more..

The breathtaking scenery & nature images from around the world will make you realize that we belongs to a beautiful planet and  you wish all people united and living together in peace.

A group of Egyptian, Arab and international celebrities were keen to support WYF by posting on their accounts on Instagram their photo showing signs of support to the forum.

The World Youth Forum inauguration campaign also revealed a song produced to inaugurate the forum, performed by Algerian singer Cheb Khaled.

The new song ‘’ Shabab Baldna’’ ( young people in our country) is dedicated to the World Youth Forum (WYF) and it also marks the first time cooperation between the Egyptian composer Amr Mostafa and the Algerian singer. The song is written by Khaled Tageldin and distributed by Amin Nabil.

Check out the official World Youth Forum 2017 song, featuring Cheb Khaled (here)

The World Youth Forum pillars and themes

The forum aims to spread a message of peace, prosperity, harmony, and progress around the world.

The forum is built around four pillars and themes. The first deals with “global youth issues”, including the discussion of terrorism, illegal migration, and refugee issues.

The second pillar focuses on “sustainable development, technology, and entrepreneurship”, reviewing international experiences in achieving sustainable development goals and presenting innovative youth experiences in entrepreneurship.

The third one is about “civilizations and culture”, including discussions about how to benefit from cultural diversity and the role of societies and states in reforming what causes conflicts and wars between nations.

The last pillar is “creating future leaders”, presenting the most significant international experiences in youth training and rehabilitation, in addition to discussing the role of states and societies in creating future leaders.

“The people I respect most have one thing in common. They gather.” Helen Hunt the American Academy Award winner…

Posted by World Youth Forum on Sunday, November 5, 2017

I am dreaming to create a revolution in the visual communication field in my nation. I am aiming that i would be…

Posted by World Youth Forum on Sunday, November 5, 2017

“Youth is a word that holds more potential than any other; it represents ambition, courage, innovation, creativity but…

Posted by World Youth Forum on Sunday, November 5, 2017


The WYF agenda

The full agenda for the World Youth Forum has been published on its official website. The first two days of the forum will witness the arrival of the participants from all over the world and the opening session.

The actual discussion sessions are planned to start on November 6, where participants will discuss a number of issues, including differences among cultures and civilizations, discussion of the “AU Theme of the Year: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth” as well as the youth vision to achieving sustainable development at a global level.

The World Youth Forum is a global forum where peace-loving، pro-development، multicultural peoples are integrated and serve as a platform for young people to launch their creations.

It is worth mentioning that since 2016, four national youth conferences have been held by the Egyptian government. The four conferences were held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Aswan, Ismailia, and Alexandria and have witnessed more than 10,000 participants representing youth from various sectors of Egyptian society.

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