Wednesday 19, October 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The world’s leading investors and venture capitalists have praised the GITEX Global Startup Movement as one of the top events for startup deals and partnerships.

The GITEX Global Startup Movement is the most global weeklong startup event in 2016, more than 410 startups from 60 countries and 1,200 tech founders. Investors have had unique opportunities to get in on the ground floor of innovations, while startups have the opportunity to gain from mentor experience and reach new markets.

Investors leveraged space at the Blah Blah Lounge, where they met one-on-one with leading startups across industry verticals such as education, fintech, healthcare, IoT, and retail.

“The opportunity to meet with startup teams from around the world and from different industries in one place face-to-face is very valuable and highly effective,” said Erich Sieber, Partner and SVP of Inventages venture capital.

“The face-to-face meetings were a great idea,” agreed Omar Rifai, Executive Director of Standard Chartered Private Equity. “I’ve already told two friends running startups that they should be signing up for next year.”

Raed Hafez, founder of Dubai grocery delivery app startup el Grocer, praised the volume of opportunities at GITEX Global Startup Movement: “In a span of three days, we met with ten investors. In the one-on-one meetings, we were able to meet a number of key investors who showed significant interest in our next funding round.”

International investors gained stronger insights on the Middle East’s potential and deeper understanding of the opportunities and strengths of local startups.

“The startup ecosystem in the region has a great potential. The founders have great ideas and energy. Being the first edition, the result is just great,” said Carlos Valderrama, Managing Director, Mjolnir Ventures in Spain.

Mustafa Shams ElDin, General Manager – Saudi Arabia and Yemen, PepsiCo, agreed: “Meeting these talented young entrepreneurial men and women from the region is my ultimate source of optimism in the future of our countries.”

“We are proud to have created life-changing opportunities for young entrepreneurs to both access funding and sell their products to tens of thousands of new customers. The GITEX Global Startup Movement has facilitated more than 300 hundred bespoke face-to-face meetings over the last two days between investors and startups, 40 to 50 percent of which have resulted in the foundation of new, mutually beneficial relationships that will be on-going long after the event closes,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Event Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.

“By strategically pairing startups and investors, we have provided emerging companies with a once in a lifetime, dedicated opportunity to pitch for funding that will change their businesses and their lives forever. The feedback from investors has been overwhelmingly positive and is a testament to the quality of innovative ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and the overwhelming drive of the startups participating in the GITEX Global Startup Movement.”

Amir El-Sherbiny, founder of Webville, a startup from Egypt said: “As a startup, we care much about the return on every penny we spend. GITEX gave exceptional support in setting meetings with top regional as well as global investor. If you run a regional startup with high potential, we highly recommend exhibiting at GITEX.”

Akram El Youssi, founder of Dubai-based entrepreneur valuation startup Premony, said: “The Blah Blah Lounge is a true one stop shop venue for the who’s who in the region – rubbing shoulders, getting feedback and initiating transaction conversation.”