Your Middle East Startup Istanbul – held on April 14 at the magnificent Swedish Palace – is the first in a series of free-2-attend, informal and inspirational evening gatherings focusing on tech startups and women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Next up is Dubai in June, then Tunis, Erbil, Riyadh, Amman and Tehran.
“We exist to provide a more nuanced – and positive – image of the Middle East. Putting the spotlight on great female entrepreneurs in the region is a natural continuation of that work,” says David Hedengren, Publisher &CEO of Your Middle East.
“We have big, important goals – to disrupt media and change the Middle East and the world for the better – but we do it in an informal and relaxed way.Having fun is a key driver and I for one see this as a great excuse to eat lots of amazing aubergine,” says Your Middle East COOAuroreBelfragewith a smile.
Speakers in StartupIstanbul include F?ratI?becer, who recently sold his mobile technology company Pozitron for USD 100 million, and RinaOnur, co-founder of the highly successful mobile gaming company Peak Games.
The investor panel is joined by the Head of Turkey at Skype founder NiklasZennström’s fund Atomico:NazOzertugrul, among others. Confirmed speakers in Dubai include inspiring profiles such as HananAbdel Meguid, outgoing CEO of OT Ventures.
“We’ll have a lot of big names, but this is a ‘non-strategic’, ‘non-important’ event. We prefer to be real and inspire our readers and the startup community. To stir things up and have fun,”says AuroreBelfrage, a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of the social gifting tech company Wrapp.
“As a moderator my aim is for this to be intimate, inspiring and educational while providing a meeting place that leads to real action,”sheadds.
At each event, 2-3 female startups will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors. Max 5 slidesand the focus is on an interactive discussion with the panel between each slide.
“This is a highly interactive format that gives instant feedback to the entrepreneurs and provides the audience with important insights into the thinking of leading VCs.”
So why is a digital media like Your Middle East hosting startup events?
“We are much more than just a media platform. Your Middle East is a grassroots movement and an agent for positive change in MENA. This includes creating constructive meeting spaces for the region’s people,” says Adam Hedengren, Managing Editor of Your Middle East.
“And our platform and influential global audience allows us to spread the content of these events throughout the globe.”
Your Middle East Startup Istanbul is held at the Swedish Consulate in Istanbul on 14. April at 5.30 pm. The event is made possible through the sponsors Dell, Timurkan Capital, Monitise, NU People and the Page Group.