Wamda wrapped up its signature Mix N’ Mentor Roadshow at Dubai’s in5 Innovation Hub in December, where some of the region’s most experienced investors shared their insights with the Middle East and North Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs.
The one-day event was broken up into four parts. It included group sessions on fundraising and business development, and personalized one-to-one meetings between entrepreneurs and mentors. Workshops covered the gamut of challenges facing entrepreneurs in the region, from rudimentary issues like business development, and honing an effective business pitch, to user acquisition, and digital content monetization. It concluded with a fireside chat in which investors, mentors and entrepreneurs shared their thoughts about the event.
Mix N’ Mentor events come at a critical time for MENA’s startup ecosystem. Khaled Talhouni, a principal at Wamda MENA ventures, indicated that more companies in the region are breaching the $1 million threshold. But obtaining follow-on funding remains difficult for well over half of the region’s companies polled by Wamda.
To carry forward the momentum built in 2014, Wamda’s Mix N’ Mentor Roadshow will kick off on 21 February 2015 in Cairo. It, too, will be a one-day event, and will connect entrepreneurs in the early stages of their startups with noted experts like Con O’Donnell, CEO of Hindawi Foundation for Education and Culture; Omar El Sahy, general manager at Souq.com; Ziad Mokhtar and Tarek Assaad from Ideavelopers; Patrick Thiriet, chief strategy officer at Choueiri Group; and Abed Agha, founder of Vinelab.