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The September 2022 Edition Of Dtec Forum Shed Light On How Entrepreneurs Can Navigate The Funding Winter As the discourse surrounding the funding winter grows, this edition of the Dtec Forum explored how entrepreneurs can navigate volatile periods and strengthen their growth strategies for the long term.

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A new edition of Dtec Forum, powered by Entrepreneur Middle East, was held on the theme of "When The Going Gets Tough: Tips and Tricks for Entrepreneurs Amid The Funding Winter" on Monday, September 19, 2022, at Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The event was organized in partnership between Dtec, a Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority-owned technology startup center, and Entrepreneur Middle East.

As the discourse surrounding the funding winter grows, this edition of the Dtec Forum explored how entrepreneurs can navigate volatile periods and strengthen their growth strategies for the long term.

Following a welcome address by Hans Christensen, Vice President at Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Sacha Haider, Partner, Global Ventures, kicked off with a keynote address focused on the current funding landscape for entrepreneurs in the MENA region. "It's easy to be a good founder when the market and the business is doing well, but it is the founders that have shown resilience or pivoted and pulled through (difficult) times like this that venture capitalists are interested in," Haider reminded the audience.

This was followed by a panel discussion that saw industry experts offer insights on what techniques can be adopted by entrepreneurs in order to for businesses to survive and thrive during unstable markets. Moderated by Entrepreneur Middle East Editor in Chief Aby Sam Thomas, the speakers included Sonia Gokhale, Founding Partner at Venture Souq, Gozde Demir Celen, Principal at Dubai Future District Fund, Aziz Gamil, co-founder of Santra, Michael Askew, co-founder of Ask Who, and Julien Plouzeau, Senior Manager - Investment and Portfolio at Dtec.

When asked for his advice for entrepreneurs in the UAE, Askew replied with a focus on fundraising. "For the first 1-2 years, I'd advise to stay away from venture capitalists and focus on angel investors, and focus on iterating a strong product-market fit," he said. "Your resources and energy can be expended in other areas of business. Dubai is a very safe place to start a business, so make use of that."

Meanwhile, Gamil cautioned the audience present against choosing startup co-founders simply based on familiarity or camaraderie. "One of the challenges founders face is in putting a team together: don't choose someone who you simply hang out with or know; choose co-founders and a team that can fully believe in what you want to achieve," he said.

From an investorial standpoint, Celen said that her firm remains steadfastly committed to investing in the UAE's entrepreneurial ecosystem. "We are very focused on Dubai right now, and we are trying to support the system here as much as possible," Celen said. "We invest in startups to elevate the system in general."

Check out the video for highlights from the event.

Related: The June 2022 Edition Of Dtec Forum Explored How Entrepreneurs Can Tap Into Opportunities In The NFT Space

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