Startup Watch: Google’s new phone, VC money for women startups, and the MENA’s startup economy

What feature will Google's new generation Pixel phone bring? (Feature image via Pixabay)

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, pitching your business and what’s trending.

Here’s a review of what we've read about Google’s new phone, Hong Kong supporting tech startups, entrepreneurship and hospitality, and the region’s multi-billion startup industry.

The second edition of Google Pixel is coming up: Following the last week’s stumbling launch of Apple’s iPhone 8, Google is getting ready to reveal to the global audience the second-generation of Pixel phones expected on October 4. The device will probably feature the same Snapdragon 835 chipset as every other high-end Android smartphone, in addition to a 4GB RAM as well as pressure sensitive sides, similar to what we HTC's flagship U11 smartphone came up with, in addition to water and dust resistance. As no face detection feature is reported, the phone might have better chances under the spotlights of the demo day.

Green lights for startups in Hong Kong: A great news for tech startups in Hong Kong, which will now have access to a $256 million Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF) backed by the government. This initiative aims at boosting the appeal of VCs to support local innovation and technology startups.The government and each VC fund will invest in local technology startups at an overall matching investment ratio of approximately one to two, according to Hong Kong's announcement from the Innovation and Technology Commission. Better than a cashew rice noodle?

More ladies, more cash: Though ladies have been less lucky in attracting VC funding, a study conducted by the Small Business Association in the US determined that venture firms that invested in women-led businesses had more positive performances than firms that did not. Also, female-led firms may have a higher rate of return on average than male-led firms. Reason enough to start pouring cash in ladies’ creativity?

When hospitality embraces entrepreneurship: Startups and investors are more interested in entrepreneurship and supporting the ecosystem. Some hotels have also started incorporating this mentality within their features. Just like they cater to business and leisure travelers, hotels are now more into including amenities that cater to entrepreneurs. Nest Coworking Space, is a shared workspace concept at Tryp by Wyndham, Dubai, which is set to open its doors this autumn. As a full-service coworking space, Nest will focus on creating and fostering a community around entrepreneurs, freelancers, and the creative classes working in key locations in Dubai, with a membership structure that offers access to a range of benefits.

The region that raised $3 billion in a year: The Middle East is developing on a fast pace into a global startups hub. The region not only has creative mindsets that are eager to alter the perception of a population of ‘followers’, but it also has a bunch of the wealthiest businesspeople on the planet, and that have already taken that startup innovation train. Last year, several key investments in that area have peaked a $3 billion capital injected in various regional startups. Many are calling this era ‘the wakeup’, but what’s next?

Wamda of the week: The Orenda Tribe: This Jordanian social enterprise is selling online and through shops quality products, mainly T-shirts, with prints of drawings of children living in refugee camps and less fortunate communities. It is giving back parts of its profits to encourage art classes in underprivileged communities.

This is how we do it: We’ve always been used to source inspiration, tips, and mentorship from foreign leaders and experts. But this is changing with entrepreneurs from the region, leaving their imprint all over the world, and standing out from the crowd. CEO and founder of, Ronaldo Mouchawar, founder and board member of Glowork, Khalid Al Khudair, cofounders of Careem, Magnus Olsson and Mudassar Sheikha, CEO and chairman of W Motors, Ralph R Debbas, and founder and CEO of ,Loulou Khazen Baz, share with us some insights and tips about their entrepreneurial journey, with five key themes to follow: Vision, pioneer, innovation, growth acceleration, and strategic investments, are the golden keys.


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