Kuwait’s nascent startup ecosystem may be getting a serious boost this week, when Mark Solon, the managing partner of global accelerator network Techstars, descends on this month’s StartupQ8 event. He'll be sharing special insights – on fundraising in particular – with entrepreneurs, investors, potential startup employees, and most importantly, ‘wantrepreneurs’: those on the edges of the Kuwaiti startup community who are curious about entrepreneurship and tech.
“The event is about raising visibility more than anything,” says StartupQ8 contributor and community leader Mijbel AlQattan, who is helping to organize Wednesday evening’s event at Global Tower in Kuwait’s City. “Hopefully this will create a positive cycle of momentum for Kuwaiti startups,” to iterate, scale, and flourish into a vibrant community of SMEs that will help diversify the Kuwaiti economy.
In addition to the Techstars MP, successful Kuwait-based founder Abdur-Rahman El-Sayed will present on his entrepreneurial journey, which has included ad platform Yabila, personalized Arabic newsreader Nabd, and mobile game developer Elektron Games, among others. El-Sayed will also discuss “how to achieve product-market fit, as well as how to achieve growth and scale users,” says AlQattan.
To do justice to such a milestone for the Kuwaiti startup community – an event AlQattan believes is the “first of its kind” in the tiny Gulf country – StartupQ8 is partnering with Google Developer Group - Kuwait and KW Tech Meetup, to attract as many “community members and stakeholders together under one roof.” The Kuwait National Fund for SMEs also played an integral role in bringing Solon to the event.
The formal presentations will be followed by a networking session, at which these stakeholders will be able to meet and get to know each other, come up with ideas, and potentially form partnerships. AlQattan believes this will be “one of the coolest features of the event.”
“The excitement levels have been off the hook,” AlQattan gushed when Wamda spoke to him on Friday. “Everyone I’ve spoken to is really excited to attend an event that showcases how far we’ve come in recent years. The first event we had was organized in the back of a coffee shop and was attended by maybe 20 people.”
“We believe that Kuwait is on the cusp of a very big entrepreneurial breakthrough, but we need the right programs, support, etc.,” AlQattan concludes. “We can create a vibrant ecosystem – and we’re looking forward to sharing Kuwait’s potential.”
To RSVP, click here.