Events and Awards

To Live With Hope: Startup Without Borders Launches 1st Summit in Cairo

Being torn away from home at a moment’s notice or unable to take things with you as you leave are terrible experiences that happen more often than you think around the world as wars and unrest create victims. However, one global platform is trying to help people take those experiences and rise up higher than before in new countries.

Startups Without Borders, a global platform connecting migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to opportunities and resources to build their businesses, is holding their first ever summit here in Cairo.

The summit will aim to change perceptions of refugees and migrants, and also help strengthen a growing entrepreneurial trend amongst them, in hopes of helping refugees with a chance of living with hope for a much better future.

Running under the theme “Building an international team for a global market” the summit will host 3 tracks: Tech to Scale, Female Leadership, and Creative Economies, bringing international speakers in the startup scene to the heart of Cairo, while gathering upcoming entrepreneurs to meet, network and hack their way to scale globally.


Why Buy A Ticket To The Startup Without Borders Summit?

The SWB Summit is a mix of marketing, angel investment and entrepreneurship activities and talks as well as inspiring stories from people who had to start from the bottom in entirely new countries.

This provides a unique set of perspectives for many people, whether you are a refugee or the average person, as it offers special insight on how to build a business under some of the worst circumstances.

Entrepreneurs can learn how to beat what feels like impossible odds, how to find stability in a new place (whether a new country or simply a new field), and be inspired by those who have become successful through it all.

“If we look at unicorns in Silicon Valley, 55% of those $1 billion startups were created by at least one immigrant. 43% of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants and their children. On the other hand, the tech ecosystem is missing out on a huge opportunity: it’s been reported that the tech industry today is losing an opportunity worth $400 billion due to its lack of diversity. As Egypt’s startups set off to scale globally, it’s time to build a strong ecosystem that capitalizes on diversity as an opportunity,” says Valentina Primo, founder and CEO of Startups Without Borders.

The event will be a great place for encouraging refugees and migrants to start making a place for themselves where ever they are through business and finally create some stability in their lives.

The summit will also shed light on one of the main challenges migrant entrepreneurs face: Funding. In partnership with UNDP, the summit will host a panel on impact investment, as well as a discussion on alternative finance for startups.

It is a great initiative that will encourage the growth of the local and regional entrepreneurship landscape and open up several venues for awareness and networking for young businesses.


What To Learn At The SWB Summit?

Other than a startup competition and several booths from young businesses in and outside Cairo, there are various talks, fireside chats and masterclasses to choose from.

Masterclasses on investment best practices are alongside workshops on branding, marketing and scaling a small business.

A series of workshops will cover a variety of topics such as business development, fin-tech, legal guide for startups, and angel investments. In partnership with the UNHCR-facilitated Telling the Real Story, the event will also feature an immersive series of workshops on access to the creative industry, storytelling, content creation and branding, including “What makes a good startup video?” “How to create your own podcast” and “how to do storytelling that matters in 2020.”

Several local, regional and international speakers will be on stage to discuss different parts of the business-building or investment process.

Facebooks’ Charles Radiguet, Best-selling author Chaker Khazaal, Local startup Harmonica’s Sameh Saleh, and Managing Director for the Refugee Investment Network (RIN) Tim Docking and more will be sharing their thoughts and pointers through out the event.

Closing off the summit, the Startups Without Borders Summit Pitch competition is calling on impact-driven early-stage startups that are creating the future of the Middle East. The competition, run in partnership with AUC V-Labs, Falak Startups, Fekretak Sherketak, and PyramidBits, will select the most promising startups to pitch in front of the jury.

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