MENA ICT Forum 2022

UP YOUR GAME at Startup @mena22

Startups are eligible for special rates!

Register today at $320 per delegate, or book at Startup booth at $550 (includes one pass)

Conditions apply. Please add VAT to all rates.

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By joining Startup@MENA22, entrepreneurs and startups from the region and beyond will enjoy a rich program of sessions and workshops designed to strengthen their marketing, financial management, and a host of business skills needed to nurture their fast-growing companies.

They will listen to and engage with successful peers and case studies who have been on similar journeys, and get inspired by their insights and lessons learned and shared. They will be exposed to, and interact with elements that will broaden their horizons and expand their visions regionally and globally. 

They will have ample opportunities to meet and network with like-minded people, debate current issues they feel are vital to their business, pitch their offerings to  a variety of investors, and - yes - be pitched to by potential investors who want to become part of their fast-growing companies.

In a nutshell, they will enjoy and benefit from being in an all-inclusive eco-system that emulates global best practices to bring the very best out of them until long after they leave the forum!

Pivoting Your Startup

Many successful mega-corporations got started in domains that are entirely different from what we know them for. Nokia started as a pulp mill and made paper. American Express was originally a postal service, Nintendo was a playing card company, and Flickr started as a chat room for a web-based multiplayer game.

What these companies have in common is that they successfully pivoted their business models toward something that was relevant and in demand, and for which they had the skills, manpower, and knowhow to move into. They listened and responded to the markets.

And this is exactly what we will focus on in Startup@MENA22; you will listen to people who have succeeded in pivoting their businesses, and grown into corporations that are agile and keep producing and selling what's in demand. Foremost all, you will learn that it isn't really that painful as one might imagine, and that all it takes is a listening ear (to the markets), and the willingness to change swiftly and drastically if necessary.

WHAT's YOUR STORY?

Startups are usually so in love with their companies and products, they miss the point and tell the wrong story. They could talk for hours and hours about how great their solution is, how it solves mankind's ancient problems, how robust it is built, and so forth. Sounds familiar?

Mostly, actually always, this is not what your typical investor wants to hear. They want to hear what problems your company solves, more even so than how. They want to taste the demand they can expect for your brand to generate, and they want to assess whether you are worthwhile investing into based on that.

So besides being a great entrepreneur, you have got to be a great storyteller. Apple's huge success is largely attributed to Steve Jobs, who never wrote a line of code in his life. Yet, Steve was one of those persons "who could sell water in Alaska".

And this is exactly what we will coach you in through several plenary and breakout sessions. How YOU can tell YOUR STORY in a way that will capture your audience of investors and customers, and entice them to race who pulls out their checkbook first to do business with YOU!

SILICON VALLEY - WHERE The best things got started

It takes a whole lot more than real estate complexes or even large markets to foster startups and entrepreneurship. It takes an entire eco-system. Everything has to converge; business, government, education, research & development, even social life such as outings etc. Your entire surrounding must have "the vibe", so you can flourish and feel you are in your element; just like a fish in water.

And what place on earth has been better in providing this than Silicon Valley? Whether you've been there or heard stories, you know what Silicon Valley is all about. After all, it's the birthplace of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google, HP, Intel, and basically every other company that made a dent in the tech-world!

This segment of Startup@MENA22 will talk about why all these companies had such a great head-start; how their surroundings influenced their businesses, the role academia played in all of that, how the local government made sure companies can grow beyond their wildest dreams, and how it all came together to provide for an eco-system that almost guaranteed success for anyone who was serious about starting a business.

THE KNOWLEDGE VILLAGE

Entrepreneurs and startups are usually great at one thing; this one particular product or service they set out to build. And that's a great place to start. But it won't suffice to transform your startup into a global mega corporation. For that, you will need an entire suite of skills that might be unfamiliar to you.

As the CEO of your startup, you're not expected to be an expert accountant. But you've got to understand the basics of reading your financials and interpreting what these numbers mean, right? At the same token, you're not going to spend hours on marketing your solution digitally, but you nonetheless must understand how markets are segmented, targeted, and what communication channels are best for those, right?

To help you become the best you can be, we will put you through a series of crash-course sessions that pump as much information and understanding about critical business skills into you as we possibly can. You'll still want to learn more after that, but we'll make sure to set you on the right path and direct you then where you can get more to satisfy your information-hungry mind.

WHO's YOUR HERO?

We all have one or more role model we aspire to; someone we admire greatly for what she or he have accomplished in their life. The greatness they achieved, and the impact they made on so many lives. They inspire us, and they drive us to want to outperform ourselves and become our own better versions.

We can't guarantee that we will feature your particular role model, but what we promise is to put you in a room with a few people who started just like you, endured what you are enduring, and built what you are striving to build. Successful people who come from backgrounds and environments you can relate to. People who will inspire you and encourage you to keep going and going until you reach your goal!

Between the Tank and the Den; Swimming with Sharks or flying with Dragons?

When we say we mean business, we mean business! And we are betting on you to be as serious about your business as we are. So role up your sleeves and get ready to pitch your company to a group of hard-core investors who will go only for the best of the best.

And with what you have learned the day before in our sessions about how to tell your story, we're hoping to see several investments closed right after the MENA ICT Forum. Who knows, you might be our next inspirational speaker and role model at the MENA ICT Forum 2024.

All the networking opportunities you need to build long-lasting relations

Succeeding in business is all about knowing the right people. While some people may coach you for years, others could play an important role in introducing you to that next large customer of yours in the region. And some others may simply end up becoming life-long friends who give you that extra push and moral support just when you need it.

Bottom line, people do business with people. Which is why we are integrating plenty of networking opportunities in this two-day forum. Between coffee breaks - of which some will be hosted at your very own space, lunches, dinners, and ample free time for people to roam the space (particularly your space), all you have to do is put a smile on your face, welcome people into your area, have your elevator pitch ready, and your business cards within reach. And while you're at it, don't forget to have fun and enjoy your time!

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