Startup Watch: the Souq deal, juice cleanses, and how to vet your VC

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 about the big deal this week, the energy opportunity, and how a juice entrepreneur went from nine heroin overdoses to millionaire.

What to do if you got a $650 million offer for your $1 billion startup? This article could have been written for the Middle East yesterday, when everyone was exclaiming their praise for the Souq deal in public but privately saying, wait, wasn’t it worth $1 billion? This writer has four questions to ask when a buyer comes knocking, the last we think is most pertinent: where do you want to be?

Energy is where the money’s at, yo. Energy is and always has been, the sector to watch if you want to make money. Think coal in the late 1700s, oil in the 1800s and 1900s, and renewables today. Cheap energy is the bedrock of our global society. Not only are changes in energy systems causing falling emissions, but it’s opening huge new opportunities for those who can see them. The EIA is a one place to start boning up on the growth areas.

Rafati, right, in happier times. 
(Image via Sunlife Organics)

From heroin addict to millionaire entrepreneur. They say a juice cleanse is good for detoxing, but for Khalil Rafati the juice came after the detox. He overdosed nine times before changing his ways and building a juice empire in the US. Respect.

Vet your VC. If you don’t know how, read this. We know you might just be happy to have the cash (or even an introduction). But we’ve heard the horror stories - from across the region - of entrepreneurs signing deals, or spending a lot of time trying to sign deals that fail, with investors that aren’t right for them.

If cash is king, what is debt? There are, according to this writer, three specific times when a startup can use debt. The exact wrong time to use debt is when you’re in the middle of a pivot or your revenue has stalled. Then again, Foursquare raised debt at the worst time, and look where it is now.

The difference between men and women. HN Worth is a Singaporean website that tells the stories of their entrepreneurs and annually it runs two 10 ‘powerful conversations’ pieces, one with men and one with women. It is a fascinating contrast between the kinds of stories men tell about themselves and their lives, and those women tell.

Have you looked into the ether? Ethereum is a new blockchain (the bitcoin blockchain is just one kind) and it’s causing a stir, and not just because of a $60 million heist last year. It can create smart contracts - the kind that could allow you to have complete control over things like your Facebook privacy settings - and it’s making some powerful people very excited.

So much water but no taxis when you need them. Why is it that the countries with the worst traffic and the best water highways rarely put two and two together? Cairo might have finally got a reliable system in place, and now it might be Lebanon’s turn. The proposal is a Beirut-based series of fast and slow ferries serving the entire coastline. It’s just an idea, but we live in hope.

Ambitious. (Image via Beirut Water Taxi)

Feature image via Pexels.

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