More than 300 people came together for the third edition of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum, presented by du, which was held at the Westin Mina Al Seyahi in Dubai, UAE, on November 08, 2016. The annual conference, which is staged under Entrepreneur Middle East’s Industry Intel banner, had speakers from all around the Middle East to share their insights and expertise on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region.
Entrepreneur Middle East Editor in Chief Aby Sam Thomas kicked off the event with his opening remarks, following which the conference was co-moderated by him and KBW Investments Chief Communications Officer Fida Chaaban.
The first Taking Series session of the conference was a panel discussion on the topic, Walking The Talk: How Corporates Can Better Support The MENA Startup Ecosystem, which was headlined by J. J. De La Torre, Digital Transformation Leader, IBM MEA, Eman Al Mahmoud, Programs Manager, Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center), AbdelRahim AbuSedira, Head of SME Marketing, du, and Jean-Michel Gauthier, co-founder and CEO, InternsME.com. The speakers spoke on the need for more win-win collaborations between corporates and startups, as well as services and solutions that are especially tailored for SMEs in the region.
This discussion was followed by a fireside chat with Tamer Bazzari, founder and CEO, Genero Capital, which delved into various aspects of the MENA investment scene, including angels, private equity, etc. Over the course of the conversation, Bazzari also explained to the audience the characteristics investors look for when they consider a startup or SME to fund, stressing on the need for both parties in such a partnership to maintain an open and collaborative approach.
The second of the Talking Series brought forward ideas and strategies for small businesses wanting to scale up their respective enterprises. Titled Growth Hacks: Moving Out Of Your Home Market And Expanding Your SME’s Reach, this discussion had as its panelists Mai Medhat, co-founder and CEO, Eventtus, Omar Soudodi, Managing Director, Payfort, Tarek Ghobar, Startups Services Manager, 1776 Dubai, and Hala Alturki, CEO, Kwn Education. While the discussion focused on the importance of digital media skills to enable the building up of an enterprise, the speakers also underlined the significance of having a local presence when it comes to operating in new markets.
The third and final discussion of the day was on the topic, Mo Money Mo Problems: Managing Your Money (And Your Burn Rate) After You’ve Got Funded, which delved into the preparatory steps entrepreneurs need to take when their enterprises find investment from VCs, angels, etc. This panel featured Dany Farha, co-founder and CEO, BECO Capital, Kunal Kapoor, founder, The Luxury Closet, Jon Richards, co-founder and CEO, compareit4me.com and Dr. Christiane Schloderer, Founding Partner, Athena CFO.
The 2016 Enterprise Agility Forum presented by du was conducted with the support of the Dubai Chamber and Tejar Dubai, Luxury Partner Cadillac, Platinum Allies AJSM Investments and Hill International, Gold Allies in5, RAK Free Trade Zone, Sama Santé Medical Center and Skyline University College, and Ecosystem Partner The Venture.