The Investor's View: Does Attending Ecosystem Events Improve Chances Of Investment?
How many ecosystem events have you attended this year as an entrepreneur hoping to meet a potential investor? Startups tell us that one of the primary reasons they choose to go to MENA region events is to improve their chances of funding. We asked investors based in the Middle East, from angels to VCs, to talk back and give us their views on whether startups attending events were better positioned to garner investor interest.
THE Q When assessing startups for potential investment, do you consider how often they attend events in the ecosystem?
"The value gained from attending events and conferences is subjective and differs from one company to the next. How often or not a startup or its founders attend conferences/events does not play an independent role when making an investment decision. In fact, I find the frequency of attending startup events to be irrelevant with no correlation to potential performance. At the end of the day, we are investing in a team, and we must have faith in their ability to manage their time, bandwidth, and budgets, and decide for themselves which events (and how often) to attend.
To this date, we have not invested in a single opportunity that originated at a conference such as ArabNet, STEP, RiseUp, etc. Attending such events is important for multiple reasons: exposure, meeting investors, mentors, advisors, co-founders, talent, and generally keeping up with the ecosystem. From my personal experience, I’ve noticed that startups that have raised funding generally attend a less number of conferences, limiting attendance to only a couple key events a year, as they spend most of their time, resources, and focus on building the business.”
Omar J. Sati is Managing Director and co-founder of DASH Ventures, established in 2011. Omar has been integral in supporting Jordan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem since its early days, and remains a driving force behind the development of the region’s most cutting-edge tech companies. He currently serves as mentor and advisor to early stage startups and sits on the board of several fast-growing ventures, leveraging his 15+ years of international investment experience. Prior to DASH, Omar was Venture Principle at AcceleratorTech, a pioneering Arab venture capital firm. Omar holds an MBA with distinction from Cass Business School and a Bachelors in Finance and Management from Tulane University.