Startup Watch: Message from the Pharaohs, zombie startups, and indoor farming

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 what we’ve read about the growing startups in Egypt, Dubai’s flying cabs, lettuce growing vertically, and the zombie entreprises.

Innovation from the land of Pharaohs: Egypt has long been an attraction to archeologists and historians passionate about unveiling the secrets of the old Pharaohs civilization, knowledge, and innovation. But Egypt has more than this to offer. The past few months have unleashed and accentuated the new tech and entrepreneurship potentials of the country, that has been a fertile ground for breeding startups in various segments. In total, eight, if not more, Egyptian tech startups secured investment over the course of 2016, making it the fourth most popular African country in terms of the number of startups that raised capital. The old country has much to say about coding than hieroglyphes, apparently.

Let’s work together: Efficient, convenient, friendly atmosphere, and hip, that’s what coworking spaces are. They provide the appropriate community for any rising startup to grow within, and even facilitate networking and relations. All these reasons combined don’t turn coworking spaces into just the place to be for startups, but also into concepts that go beyond the classic real estate to become true innovation partners.

Growing lettuce from the bedroom: If you thought that hydroponics (growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, without using soil) are quite innovative and revolutionary, wait until you hear about vertical farming. The process of moving farming indoor and promising conditioned agriculture, is currently rising in the States, and also attracting mega investments from VCs. Ziad Abi Chaker, a Lebanese innovative businessman, launched in collaboration with the AUB an initiative that uses waste for plantation. Would they manage to turn it into a sustainable farming model?


Entrepreneurs, go back to school. For all of you out there wishing to couple your entrepreneurial passion with some solid academics, now you can. Harvard Business School’s digital learning initiative launched the ‘Entrepreneurship Essentials: People, Opportunity, Context, and Deal’, the fifth course in its expanding suite of online certificate programs. The course introduces participants to the principles of entrepreneurship, from idea discovery to marketplace assessment to financing. Not only the course teaches you how to do it, but brings you successful entrepreneurs to inspire you, and it’s online. The school is accepting applications for the first cohort until October 16, 2017 and the course starts on October 25. Sharpen your pens, and get plenty of white papers.

A fine carmaker funding fly-taxis: It is not the first time that the startup and tech world appeals to classic industry leaders. Daimler is one of various investors and entrepreneurs who are funding the development of Volocopter, the German startup producing flying cabs to Dubai. The UAE city is anticipating soon-coming emptier streets, with flying cabs, flying cops, and flying delivery services!

Wamda of the week: What I Know about building ecosystems: One is never enough of good advice of industry leaders. Wamda spoke with Linda Rottenberg, cofounder of Endeavor, where she shared tips about how to become a successful entrepreneur in an emerging market. A must read!

Don’t become a zombie:  Zombie Jackson, zombie Cranberries, but zombie startup? Apparently, it is a widely used term in the UK to describe a startup that keeps going after funding runs out but doesn’t actually grow, and investors lose any interest in it. In a country where startups are born at an 80 per hour pace, zombies, no doubt, are going to more than just roving the streets.

Feature images via Pixabay.

Media categories



Related Articles