Mike Butcher, European Editor at TechCrunch, discusses the startup scene at ArabNet and some interesting new technologies coming out of MENA.
Unlike older markets like the U.S. and Europe, Butcher explains that there is an energy in MENA that is contagious and is creating vibrant new startups to fill some of the gaps in local markets. Some of these ideas are “clones” modeled off of U.S. or European businesses, others are more original. He explains that, “Whether you do that via a clone or a totally innovative company doesn’t really matter, the main thing is the ecosystem gets built and therefore, a rising tide lifts all boats.”
In most circumstances, companies cannot be completely replicated and placed in MENA, it takes innovative entrepreneurs to identify the differences in MENA markets and to craft a business to address specific local needs.
Butcher also discusses how startups can get exposure on more prominent blogs and media sources by building credibility amongst the press in the local region and having a product or service worth writing about.