The new firm is backed by major shareholders CIIC and Telecom Egypt, and supported by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (CIT). The Egypt-based firm will offer not only venture capital to start-ups, but also entrepreneurial insight and operational expertise to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into successful businesses quickly.
“IDEAVELOPERS is today the only institutional source of seed and early-stage capital for start-up technology businesses in the Arab world,” said Hany Al Sonbaty, Head of TMT Investment Team at CIIC. “IDEAVELOPERS uniquely combines entrepreneurial, operational and investment expertise to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into successful businesses quickly. The formation of technology incubators is a key step forward in the development of the Middle East’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry.”
IDEAVELOPERS will partner with technology entrepreneurs and new technology start-ups to greatly increase their odds of success. Unlike traditional investment options, the firm offers entrepreneurs both venture capital for new start-ups and the essential knowledge, expertise and services that are critical success factors for a new venture.
“Today’s Arab start-ups have very limited access to venture capital and Arab entrepreneurs are usually forced to go through the learning curve from scratch and cater for many administrative issues rather than focus on their core competencies and on accelerating the growth of their new ventures,” said Khaldoon Tabaza, CEO of the new firm. “IDEAVELOPERS, by providing both venture capital, venture development services, and operational support, satisfies the needs of a vital niche in the region’s ICT market..”
IDEAVELOPERS’ management team includes experienced entrepreneurs from the Arab world that have already started successful ventures and are aware of the issues that new technology start-ups face. IDEAVELOPERS core management team is comprised of: chief executive officer, Khaldoon Tabaza founder of several technology ventures including Arabia Online; chief operating officer, Ayman El-Sherbiny, who is co-founder of GegaNet and Yalla.com; chief business development officer, Walid Bakr technology professional and former managing director of Sunbelt Software (Europe); and chief financial officer, Mohammed Fahmy who joins from CIIC-Flemmings bringing finance and investment banking experience to the team.
IDEAVELOPERS’ business infrastructure further simplifies the start-up phase of a new technology venture, through providing for serviced office space and ‘plug and play’ access to technology, finance, legal and marketing services. The company is also backed by the resources of its major strategic shareholders that include CIIC (Commercial International Investment Company) and Telecom Egypt.
According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, the annual value of Arab World markets is expected to reach $8.9 billion in 2005. Growing at 35% per year, the Egyptian CIT market has one of the highest growth rates worldwide. Egypt’s five-year, billion pound CIT plan aims to drive liberalization, the development of facilities and investment for growth in Egypt. The formation of technology incubators is one of a number of initiatives supported by the Egyptian government to encourage development in the CIT industries.
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