RiseUp Summit 2019, MENA’s leading entrepreneurship event, kicked off Thursday at the American University in Cairo (AUC) New Cairo Campus, with deep dives into the #JourneyToGrowth of the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Featuring speakers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dell Technologies, SAP Egypt, IBM Egypt and early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator 500 Startups.
The Summit highlighted the status of innovation and entrepreneurship in MENA, with a special look into local, regional and international companies that have followed their own journey to growth.
With a total of 11 sessions on the first day, RiseUp Summit 2019 was inaugurated with an opening ceremony hosted by President of the AUC Francis J. Ricciardone Jr and Cofounder and CEO of RiseUp Abdelhameed Sharara, giving an account of what is planned for the three-day event.
Ricciardone welcomed the audience to the university’s campus: “This is the beating heart of energy and creativity in the Middle East, and I cannot think of a better place to begin our three days of RiseUp together than AUC. We as AUC bring the world back to Egypt – and bring Egypt to the world – not only for tourism, but for learning, creating, researching, developing projects and products that will improve lives.”
With RiseUp expanding its regional footprint further every year, this year’s top speakers include Founder of Orascom Development Holding AG Samih Sawiris, TV Personality Raya Abirached, Executive Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange Mohamed Farid Saleh, Cofounder and Managing Director of Fawry Mohamed Okasha, Co-Author Blitzscaling and Cofounder Global Scaling Academy Chris Yeh, Editor-at-Large at TechCrunch Mike Butcher, and Cofounder and President at F6S Matt Philippe. RiseUp will also host the African App Launchpad Cup, in partnership with the Telecommunications Ministry’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), as well as a number of satellite events in different locations all over Cairo. The Summit will be followed by the regional Pitch by the Pyramids competition, in which 15 startups from MENA will pitch for various prizes.
Cofounder and CEO of RiseUp Abdelhameed Sharara says: “Every year, we ask ourselves how to grow. In 2013, we started as a Summit, hosting only around 1,900 attendees at the GrEEK Campus in Downtown Cairo. Slowly, we turned into a company and last year, our summit was held on over 2,000 square meters with 6,100 attendees from 48 countries. The most suitable place for us this year to pursue our Journey to Growth was the AUC New Cairo Campus, especially as the university celebrates its Centennial.”
During the Summit, business credit card Tribal Credit – founded by serial tech entrepreneur Amr Shady – announced that it closed a $5.5 million seed round to bank startups in emerging markets and help
them break free from local financial barriers. The round was led by BECO Capital and Global Ventures, with other backers that include Endure Capital, 500 Startups, Valve VC, AR Ventures, Off The Grid Ventures, Rising Tide Fund, RiseUp and Tribe Capital. Tribal is also opening its waitlist for the first time during RiseUp Summit, allowing startup teams to sign up to be first in line for access.
Additionally, Egyptian aggregator of outdoor advertising AdMazad announced it’s latest product AdMetrics, which allows advertisers to assess the effectiveness of any out-of-home ad-space or campaign. AdMazad’s AdTech has been revolutionizing the outdoor advertising market by bringing data and analytics to a traditional and chaotic industry.
RiseUp Summit 2019 will convene from December 5-7, hosting four main stages: Tech, Capital, Creative and Growth. The seven tracks that the content focuses on are: Creative Culture, Creative Economies, Smart Capital, Growth Hacks, Emerging Tech, FinTech and Tech 4 Humans.