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The Investor's View: Does Attending Ecosystem Events Improve Chances Of Investment Samih Toukan, Chairman of Jabbar Internet Group, gives his views on whether startup's presence in events factors in when assessing for potential investment.

By Samih Toukan

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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?

"Actually, I have never used attending events as part of the assessment. However, I do encourage our portfolio entrepreneurs to participate in events in the ecosystem. I think it's important for networking and learning and sharing experiences. It can also help in building relationships with investors and other stakeholders in the ecosystem."

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

Samih Toukan

Chairman, Jabbar Internet Group

In the year 2000, Samih founded and became the CEO of Maktoob.com, the world’s first Arabic email and largest Arab online community with over 16 million users. In 2009, Maktoob was acquired by Yahoo! in the largest technology acquisition deal in the history of the region.

Following the acquisition, Samih became the Chairman of Jabbar Internet Group (Jabbar.com) a group that founded several leading Internet companies including souq.com, the Arab world's largest ecommerce site. Jabbar today is one of the leading investors in Internet and technology companies in the region.

Samih holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of London and a Masters in Management and International Business from HEC University in France. He has several years of experience with Andersen Consulting in technology consulting, systems development and Internet services. He co-founded Business Optimization Consultants in 1994 and Maktoob in 2000.

Between 2003 and 2005 , Samih was appointed by the Jordanian government as a member of the board of the Social Security Investment Fund (a fund of several billion Dollars). Today Samih is an active investor, investing in many startups in the region and around the world. He also acts as a mentor to many entrepreneurs. Samih is also a founding investor in Oasis500, Jordan’s leading startup incubator.

Furthermore Samih is the Chairman of the board of UnderMyOliveTree, a non profit organization focusing on education support for the unprivileged, and an investor and a member of the board of Ruwwad Micro Venture Fund, which provides grants for entrepreneurs in marginalized communities in Jordan.

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