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The Investor's View: Does Attending Ecosystem Events Improve Chances Of Investment Vodafone Ventures Egypt, Managing Director Mohammed Al-Ayouti shares his views on whether startups need to have a presence at conferences.

By Mohammed Al-Ayouti

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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?

"Ecosystem presence is necessary. It shows the strength of the entrepreneurs' network, their approach to business development, and helps verify reputation. On the downside, a regular presence without significant progress between events is an indicator of lack of substance or traction. And I prefer to stay away from those addicted to competitions."

Related: The Investor's View: Does Attending Ecosystem Events Improve Chances Of Investment?

Mohammed Al-Ayouti

Managing Director, Vodafone Ventures Egypt

Mohammed Al-Ayouti is an intrapreneur at Vodafone Egypt, where he has been exploring new frontiers for the company since 2008. He launched and leads Vodafone Ventures Egypt, Vodafone’s VC arm, to support and harness the local tech startup ecosystem. Mohammed is a passionate about entrepreneurship in Egypt, with a mobile-centric bias. Previously, played a role in the advancement of mobile data in Egypt, by creating Vodafone's mobile Internet unit, and driving it to market-leading success by launching data plans, smartphones, apps, and digital platforms. An entrepreneur at heart, Mohammed acquired 10 years of local Internet industry know-how as an entrepreneur, and holds a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Cairo University.

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