Individuals and delegations from over 25 countries will be participating at the RiseUp Summit 2015, the Middle East & Africa’s top entrepreneurship experience, which will occur this year from December 12th – 13th in various venues around Downtown Cairo.
The countries represented will be the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Kenya, Turkey, Sweden, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, the United States, Canada, Japan, China, and India.
The individuals and groups from these countries are participating in various organizations, including speakers, co-working spaces, investment funds, incubators, and stakeholders.
“In its third year, the RiseUp Summit has gained worldwide recognition as the place to be for anyone who wants to engage with the MENA entrepreneurship ecosystem in any capacity,” said Abdelhameed Sharara, founder and CEO of RiseUp. “I’ve traveled to 20 countries in the past two years, and I’ve spoken about entrepreneurship in MENA in 10 global conferences. From every place I’ve been, the excitement and anticipation have been phenomenal.”
The MENA region is coming in force.
Cogitecoworkingspace , the first co-working space in Tunisia, launched in 2013 and hub for impact-driven entrepreneurial individuals and organizations, is bringing a delegation of six start-ups.
UAE-based crowdfunding platform MMKN is heading a delegation of 15 people, including start-ups, influencers, ecosystem players.
Jordan’s startups and ‘ecosystem’ are attending the Summit in significant numbers, with 20 of their leading tech entrepreneurs coming to RiseUp. Oasis500, one of the first early-stage and seed investment companies in the region, brings Abjjad, Feesheh, eKief, Tamatem, Madfoo3atCom, Arabia Weddings, Snackable News, Play3arabi, Food Love, Green Wallet, and ProjectPen.
Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC), the technology incubator launched by Zain, the leading telecom operator in Jordan, brings The Cherry Share Inc, Jeeran, CashBasha, and Jobedu.
Orange, a global mobile operator, will be bringing Yaqut.me, Masmoo3.com, Play3a.com, Trevx.com, Experts911.com, and DIgat.com to RiseUp summit.
As for Morocco’s startup ecosystem, Startup Your Life is championing various startups to come to Cairo, sponsored by Moroccan giant, OCP; Lagare.ma, e-Expertise, Gomobile, MA-NAVETTE.COM, nextwiSheaply, Education Media Company, EV, and AIRMOTE will all be at RiseUp Summit 2015.
Participating from Europe are the leaders behind some of the biggest entrepreneurship entities, including Pirate Summit, the largest tech conference in Europe that happens annually in Cologne, Germany, and YourMiddleEast.com, a grassroots movement that created a Middle East news platform to drive positive change in the perceptions of the MENA region in the West. Add to that Enpact.org (Germany), VentureScout (Denmark), Coworking Salzburg (Austria), and a host of other European organizations who see the potential of RiseUp to galvanize the region’s diverse hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship.
From the USA, Geeks on a Plane (GOAP), a project initiated by Silicon Valley venture capital & seed fund firm 500Startups, will be in Egypt from December 11th – 15th, with 30 of the world’s most prominent start-ups, investors, and executives as part of the project’s 2015 Middle East Tour. The tour will begin in Bahrain on December 5th and then travel to the UAE and Jordan before ending in Cairo at the RiseUp Summit 2015.
“Why is the region/world coming to Cairo?” asks Con O’Donnell, co-founder of RiseUp. “The sheer size of Egypt’s population makes it a significant marketplace; it’s 27% of the region’s Arabic-speaking market. But that’s not it, at least not yet. The number of engineers, universities, centers of excellence – the talent pool, is immense, but that’s not it; it’s a factor. They are coming here, to Cairo, to RiseUp, because there is a movement here. It is compelling, intriguing. Fascinating… it is collaborative, inclusive, and connected. It’s something entirely unexpected, given the current media story about this country. Cairo, RiseUp, can draw the region’s top entrepreneurs and investors, the cream of the crop because RiseUp is a platform for whoever brings value to entrepreneurs. It’s that simple.”
RiseUp Summit 2015 will take place in many locations across downtown Cairo, including The GrEEK Campus. The agenda includes 70 workshops, 30-panel discussions, and demos, 14 talks and multiple pitch events, 140 sessions in all, from 200 local, regional and international speakers.
These pitch events include the unique Pitch and Ride experience presented by UBER. Also, SeedStars Cairo will select 12 startup businesses to pitch in front of a local and international jury. One winner will be invited to compete in Switzerland for at least a US$1.5 million investment at SeedStars Global and receive a US$10,000 cash prize from Microsoft.
Flat6Labs has partnered with RiseUp to bring Get in the Ring, which will put startups in the spotlight, giving them a global podium to connect with investors and create a fan base. In battles, startups will literally face off against each other in the ring, to a jury and an audience of potential investors, in a competition that can result in potential investment for the winner.
The PEPSICO MENA Pitch Challenge offers winners a host of prizes, including a one-week acceleration program at the IE Business School in Madrid for three winners. They will also be invited to the IE Business School Venture Day in Dubai. And there are cash prizes totaling EGP 130,000 by PepsiCo. Also, Microsoft will offer a cash prize totaling 10K $ prize to the winners of The PEPSICO MENA Pitch Challenge.
RiseUp has collaborated with the Pirate Summit to organize this regional pitch competition. Pre-selected startups from the country delegations will pitch to a jury to win the cash and other prizes. The audience will include regional venture capitalists, angel investors, and corporations.