“I am not very happy about how some investors treat startups and are somehow unfair to entrepreneurs.” This is how Rami AlKarmi explained how he sees the investment scene in the MENA.
The F03 venture, headed by AlKarmi, recently launched Adventure2Venture, a bootcamp for angel investors and entrepreneurs.
The Adventure2Venture idea was born after a round of angel investors bootcamp held by F03. AlKarmi felt the need to educate angel investors, “people who have money and want to invest in a startup”, on how to gain the required knowledge, attitude and mindset to start investing.
Rami Al-Karmi is a Jordanian entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. He is the founder and CEO of F03 Venture Partners and a limited partner, and mentor, at 500 Startups in San Francisco.
F03Ventures is a venture capital, as well as a consultancy and innovation company.
One of its main objectives is “to activate the startup ecosystem via interventions that focus on the the three main ecosystem pillars - founders, funders, and facilitators,” said AlKarmi.
Integrating the learning with fun
Adventure2Venture’s first version was based in Dubai, in partnership with In5 and Adventurati Outdoor. Their objective was to allow investors and startups let their guard down and allow for mutually educational experience with insight on both groups’ perspectives. The program hopes to educate entrepreneurs on how to better raise investments, and to have wealthy individuals learn how to become angel investors.
“The more stories and experiences [the participants] hear, the more their knowledge and attitude becomes clearer,” said AlKarmi.
“On the adventure day we connect all the dots. The format is still new and agile but I am hoping Adventure2Venture will plug in nicely to help the growth of the investment ecosystem,” he added.
An added value for investors
Tamara Abdel-Jaber is the cofounder and an executive board member at Palma Consulting. In 2009, she started to have more focus on women entrepreneurship.
As a woman angel investor, the bootcamp gave her the chance to teach a lot of the other women entrepreneurs and investors.“It was important to introduce them to the terminologies of the investment and entrepreneurial ecosystem. A lot of them were either corporate or business women who had some excess fund that they would love to pitch in but do not have the technical knowledge,” she said.
Most importantly, the bootcamp served in creating a network and developing a vision for the women investors as to which type of companies they want to invest in.
Are entrepreneurs’ services competing?
They are not the first or only bootcamp for entrepreneurs that involves an educational retreat. However, it is one of the very few that involves investors.
“Everything in the investment space is either viewed as competition or networking effect. … I see space in the development of the investment arena, so there is room for 50 more Adventure2Ventures. I am ready to open source the format and the camp’s details.,” he said.
Fifteen entrepreneurs joined the first Adventure2Venture. However, not every startup is able to afford the few thousand Emirati dirhams bootcamp, so the team is considering getting sponsors for startups who may not be able to pay the fees.
Adventure2Venture’s future steps (after their recent Dubai January 2017 adventure) includes three more bootcamps in the coming six months. The next adventures will start in Jordan, followed by Europe and San Francisco.
AlKarmi’s final investment advice for entrepreneurs was to focus on raising money to scale their company. For investors, he encouraged co-investing instead of competing.