What Investors Look For When Evaluating Your Pitch: Karim Samakie
When evaluating any investment there are many things to look for, but I can divide them into the following categories:
1. I look for a complete team. That means they demonstrate commitment, tech, business, equity division, ability to execute, and coachability.
2. The plan. Does the entrepreneur know how and where the money is going to be spent? No office furniture please! Lean and quick.
3. Market understanding. Does the entrepreneur really understand the industry? The competition? The size? Has the homework been done?
4. Scalability! Can I help create an exponentially growing business? Regional at least, but global is preferred!
5. Drive and passion. I need someone that that will give it 110% minimum!
Karim Samakie is the Investment Manager at Oasis500, the leading startup accelerator in the MENA region. He is responsible for screening, selecting and investing in early stage technology startups. Karim leads monthly discussions for startups in order to help entrepreneurs transform their ideas into scalable businesses and prepare for venture financing. Aside from bringing more companies into the portfolio, Karim spends his days working with the 70+ companies that already make up the Oasis500 family. He helps them in securing additional funding from angels and venture capital funds and follow-on funding from Oasis500. As part of his responsibilities at Oasis500, Karim also trains entrepreneurs on financial modeling and venture funding.
Before joining Oasis500, Karim accumulated over 8 years of experience in different departments within the banking sector. He worked as an Operations Supervisor at Bank Al-Sharq, where he managed operations and supervised cash management. During that time, Karim was able to increase client bases and Deposits by 200% in less than 2 year. Prior to that, Karim worked as a Relationship Officer at Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi where he built and managed a portfolio of 60+ clients with facilities exceeding USD20M.
Karim holds a Management Certificate in Business Administration (2003) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree with concentrations in Finance, International Business, and Entrepreneurship from McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management (2005).