Venture Partner Firas Raouf Speaks at NYC Startup Event
Nine Arab startups have just completed a three day program in New York City with top technology pioneers at the capacity exchange program entitled “Silicon Badia Meets Silicon Alley” hosted by Accelerator Technology Holdings (ATH), Chadbourne & Parke LLP, and the Middle East Technology Pioneers Exchange (METPE).
Founders of leading Jordanian and Egyptian tech firms Jeeran, ShooFeeTV, The Online Project, Wizards Productions, MediaScope, Kharabeesh, Al Zwad, Kngine, Vimov, along with the tech-incubator Oasis 500 converged on New York City for this event, between 21 and 23 June, 2011. The program focused on creating a capacity and knowledge exchange bridge between MENA and North America to better facilitate cooperation and partnerships at this crucial and early stage for startups in the MENA region.
In the presence of an audience of over 150 participants, the program featured panels and workshops on best practices to raise capital, trends in global venture capital, growth strategies and business models for early stage ventures. The program also included presentations by entrepreneurs and several networking sessions.
Participants included top US technology entrepreneurs including Nihal Mehta, Rebecca Paoletti, Mike Sepso, Mike Keriakos, Waikit Lau, Heidi Messer and Christine Hunsicker as well as top VC firms including First Round Capital, Lux Capital, OpenView Venture Partners, and RHO Capital Partners. The event was concluded with a discussion of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, featuring the event’s guest of honor Governor George Pataki and Dr. Fawaz Zu’bi, Founder and CEO of Accelerator Technology Holdings (ATH).
Speaking on behalf of the MENA delegation, Dr. Fawaz H. Zu’bi said:
” This is the second time within the past year that we take our regional technology entrepreneurs to the U.S., to share and exchange views and knowledge with American entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who have accumulated vast knowledge that offers invaluable exposure for all of us in the region. Our intention is to build on this initiative, with METPE,to form a bridge to other regions to help us develop very successful and high value companies. We are truly proud of our entrepreneurs”.
Firas Raouf of OpenView Venture Partners, a Boston-based Venture Capital firm, reflected on the time he shared with the MENA delegation saying
“It’s one thing to be part of entrepreneurial startups in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. Being “on” in places like Cairo, Amman and Ankara is a completely different dimension of startup challenges. Between politics, economics and culture, Middle East based entrepreneurs have much bigger odds stacked against them which is what inspired me. How inspiring to be surrounded by a bunch of young, smart, ambitious, eager, creative and entrepreneurial startup founders.”