Last year, CEED Morocco, a USAid powered association, organized the inaugural CEED Global Annual Conference in Morocco.
This year, they decided to create an event dedicated to Moroccan entrepreneurs, CEED Annual Conference (yes, the change of name is subtle). With 1,000 participants expected, the conference aims to become the event of reference for members of the CEED network and Moroccan SMEs.
Collaboration will be the focus of this event. Entrepreneurs, experts and researchers will discuss why it’s important for companies to grow together. They will share tips and know-how, and will discuss how they can use collaborative tools and funding to expand.
Entrepreneurs will get to attend any number of hands-on workshops led by founders of hot new startups, like Careem and Smala, and representatives of agencies and associations supporting entrepreneurship. A wide range of topics will be proposed from “How to penetrate the US market” to “How to attract, train and motivate talents for greater success in your startup.”
Networking at last year's event (photo: CEED)
They will also get the chance to hear keynote speeches from former ministers, like Adil Douiri and Ahmed Reda Chami, and leading CEOs, including Mohamed Elmandjra, previously at Méditel.
Still, the main objective of the event is to promote business opportunities and networking. Throughout the event, entrepreneurs will be able to participate in collective and individual mentoring sessions, plan B2B meetings, and more.
As usual, the event will host a pitch contest. CEED has partnered with IBM to host the Moroccan edition of the IBM SmartCamp, an international competition taking place in 16 cities around the world.
After a first pitch session ahead of the CEED Annual Conference, 15 of the 50 project holders will be selected to pitch, in English, during the event in front of a panel of international investors.
The Moroccan winner will receive $1000/month for one year of IBM Cloud credit, as well as mentoring with one of CEED Maroc's mentor, one-on-one technical office hours and a chance to make it to the IBM SmartCamp’s world top 10 and experience the ultimate startup experience in Silicon Valley.
Because this year’s event is powered by famous angel investor Jason Calacanis and his organization LAUNCH, those 10 most promising innovators will be invited to study and demo at LAUNCH Scale, pitch on stage at LAUNCH Festival (the world’s largest startup conference), be accepted into the LAUNCH Incubator with $25,000 investment prize, and become IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.
Check out the program here.
You can apply here for the event, and here for the IBM SmartCamp.