Startup Watch: VCs and renewables are never, ever, ever getting back together

The world of entrepreneurship news is a complex one, with people ever ready to give their two cents on how you should be running your business/VC fund/incubator.

Here’s our wrap of what we’re reading on the drop in renewable investments, selling the UAE to US investors, and how the s**t has hit the fan for one female founder in the US.

Don’t bother with VCs if you’re in renewables. It’s sad, because they’re so good for us. It’s not been a good few years for solar power companies getting investment. CB Insights says the loss of confidence all started when Solyndra raised more than a billion bucks in funding and then failed in 2011. From then until 2016 they found 15 startups filed for bankruptcy and VC-backed deal activity dropped by more than half, down to 35. We’d like to know why the exact reasons why, though, rather than assume it’s all just due to bad press.

It’s dangerous not to go digital. It’s pretty obvious by now that enhancing the digital capabilities of a country or region will boost its economic growth. But the ICT revolution has long been ignored when it comes to development, where the risk of not adopting innovations is equally dire. Word.

A Quora for cancer? As a big fan of anything that enhances data sharing in healthcare, this a great step in the right direction. The US startup has created a knowledge sharing platform for physicians in the cancer field. We would love to see something like this in the Middle East.

Spreading the word about the UAE. Stop. The. Press. So yeah, the region is getting a little bit more attention. The US-UAE Business Council has put together this report to lay it all out neatly for potential US investors. Welcome to the party guys.

A good mentor is never far away. (Image via

You complete me? A good mentor will make you a leader, not a follower. And a really good one will “do everything they can to imprint their ‘goodness’ onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves”. Hmm, that sounds very lovey dovey. These tips read like a guide to a good relationship, if you’re also looking for something outside the mentor/mentee one.

Wamda of the week: we love ourselves so much… we have three. First we have Loulou Khazen Baz giving good advice on what to do if you’re starting up a little too soon; then we have the lowdown on what a good idea the French Tech Ticket is for startups in the Maghreb; and thirdly how finally someone is sorting out sportswear for women who want a little more cover.

Saudi might let the foreigners in. It’s not that easy to get into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But wait, now they’re apparently thinking about letting foreigners come in and invest in entrepreneurs. Well, it’s an idea they’ve floated at least. Wanting to attract quality foreign investment to create new jobs and transfer of knowledge, they’re keen to get the expats and their dough in.

Hire an HR manager, or get done for sexual harassment. That goes for the ladies too. Miki Agrawal, the super-competitive founder of Thinx, hi-tech underwear for women on their period, has had a severe HR problem upgraded to include accusations of sexual harassment. There really bad days, and really bad days for some entrepreneurs. But chin up, this too will pass.

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