TechWadi is the leading non-profit organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the MENA region. The TechWadi Annual Forum will be held on September 26-27, 2015 in Silicon Valley where there will be a panel of speakers who will be discussing the following topics:
- Investing in MENA,
- Arab success stories from Silicon Valley,
- challenges facing MENA start-ups,
- E-marketplaces: Global corporate expansion vs. Local copycats and the recipe for success,
- Techonomic development: Job creation & economic opportunity via Tech for the developing world,
- Iran’s rising Tech ecosystem & implications for the broader MENA Region, and the role of startups for corporate innovation.
Dr. Sherif Kamel, Founding Dean (Former), American University Cairo, School of Business, will be one of the speakers during the forum. We were so pleased to e-meet and interview him.
When asked about the challenges he has faced while being the Dean of the School of Business of the American University of Cairo, Dr. Kamel said: “Back in 2009, given my responsibility at that time as a dean of a business school, the objective from the start was to help create a “noise” “passion” “movement” to help make the entrepreneurial space more visible. The idea was the more people getting involved from diverse backgrounds, the greater the impact. Bringing together different stakeholders on and off campus was important.” He added, explaining the way he was able to overcome such a challenge, “Learning from various experiences was key. Creating the proper platform for deliberations, discussions and engaging different stakeholders helped the process. During the following few years working on expanding the entrepreneurial space helped in meeting the objectives of promoting entrepreneurship throughout Egypt in collaboration with different stakeholders, creating job opportunities through supporting startups, and raising the awareness of current and potential entrepreneurs by offering training and mentorship programs whereas investing in entrepreneurial lifelong learning would lead to more entrepreneurs, more jobs and a better economy.”
Addressing all the young entrepreneurs in the MENA region, Dr. Kamel says “The potential is huge, impediments are out there yet again if there is will there is a way. If many entrepreneurs have managed to transform their ideas into successful startups, I don’t see why many others cannot. Entrepreneurship is all about passion, ideas, business models, challenges, opportunities, risk, creativity, venturing into the unknown, succeeding and failing, so go out there and make the difference to the society whereas entrepreneurs do not just create companies and startups but they also transform societies at large. Staying positive, energized and focused on the outcome is invaluable.”
Dr. Kamel is looking forward to this two-days forum and believes that TechWadi has been for many years one of the effective promoters and supporters of entrepreneurship and innovation in MENA and this is exactly what the region needs and that is to keep pushing for more startups across different sectors. A forum like TechWadi always leads to the initiation of ideas, projects and programs that are invaluable for MENA given the knowledge, depth, creativity, and experience of the organization’s leadership and network.
As Dr. Kamel says, “TechWadi, through its forum and panel discussions, invests in the region’s most precious resource “human capital”. So, what are you waiting for? Join, sign up, and register for the event over here.
You can also follow Dr. Kamel on Twitter.