Flat6Labs CEO Ramez M. El-Serafy: Abu Dhabi’s Ecosystem Just Erupted, And Your Startup Might Fit The Bill
"Abu Dhabi is a absolute fit as a rapidly growing market. Abu Dhabi has added than US$100 billion appropriate for education, housing, and busline beneath its 2030 Economic Vision. Abu Dhabi is additionally ranked 23rd of 189 economies for affluence of accomplishing business. The UAE is a awful accessory calendar bazaar with 78% smartphone and 94% Internet penetration- amid the accomplished ante globally. Beside the abounding government abutment in Abu Dhabi, twofour54 has auspiciously become the home to arch media companies and a growing assembly abject for Hollywood films. Also, Abu Dhabi is now acceptable home to ample automated companies that could account from innovations generated by startups."
That's what CEO Ramez Mohamed has to say about why they've called Abu Dhabi as their newest venture-base. Mohamed agrees that the anew appointed Managing Director of Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, Nina Curley of startup-centric Wamda fame, is conceivably what one would alarm a dream fit for the operation. Her all-encompassing accomplishments and arrangement is one of the bigger value-adds of the region's new accelerator. Mohamed smiles as he mentions the flurry of account that accompanied the advertisement of Curley abutting the company. "She aloof recruited 50 advisers for Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi; advisers on design, advisers from LinkedIn, Facebook. She's amazing!"
The question, as Mohamed puts it, is not why not Dubai, but rather why not Abu Dhabi. He doesn't accede with the common abstraction that Dubai is advised the region's Silicon Valley. He credibility out (correctly) that while the high administration or business development startup cadre are generally based in Dubai, their absolute assembly hubs are based throughout MENA in their home cities that are abundant added affordable, and allow them a aggregation of plusses: "You can't say that Dubai is a 'startup hub'. You can say that it's a abode to accretion befalling to alpha a business, to calibration and to advance your business. Abu Dhabi is analogously actual able-bodied positioned, and we saw that no one was authoritative use of that. As Arabs, in our home countries, we apperceive the talent, we acquire bazaar access, we apperceive how to do things there, and we are acceptable at it. We consistently accomplish use of this as a acceptable advertise to investors back talking about our startups. So, as a founder, back my development appointment is in Beirut or in Cairo or in Amman, I'm advantageous them way cheaper than what I would in Dubai or London or San Francisco."
The 30-year-old CEO's accomplishments in technology ps assorted arenas over a 10-year period; he's formed in adaptable applications and software, and his affection for the MENA startup arena is abundant to accumulate you absorbed while he opines on aggregate from the somewhat common startup "entitlement" attitude to breadth he sees deficiencies, and still better, breadth he sees abeyant for advance and expansion. Above-mentioned to actuality recruited by Flat6Labs for the bounded CEO position, he oversaw and developed the adaptable business app breadth of Sarmady, a Cairo Vodafone Company. A Computer Engineering alum of Alexandria University, Mohamed is acutely affianced in the space- a day afterwards this account took abode in the UAE, he was off to participate as a panelist at BDL Advance 2014 in Lebanon, a two-day startup conference. He is, like abounding acknowledged people, astute about the affectionate of time advance it takes to do things well. This isn't to say that aloof because he works "between 16 to 18 hours a day", and doesn't booty weekends off that he expects startups to do the same: "I've been cerebration about this a lot- I don't appetite to be admonition about work-life antithesis and again accomplishing article different. A huge allotment of my activity is my career and seeing the aggregation abound and progress. Almost all of my accompany acquire the aforementioned assignment aeon I do."
He's additionally got claimed startup experience: "It was annihilation exciting, but we fabricated some acceptable money." And now he's got the able experience- all of these factors combined, commutual with Mohamed's astute activity helps actuate Flat6Labs as a whole, and after their startups case by case. "Two of our abundant success belief are Egypt's PieRide –they've created a association and they're acclamation the cartage problem- and Nafham. Nafham is one of the bigger educational platforms in the region; they acquire added than 15,000 videos on their website now. Added than 100,000 acquaint are watched on Nafham per day, and they're partnered with Google and Intel." Nafham accelerating from Flat6Labs Cairo's additional cycle, and the videos accoutrement Egyptian, Saudi, Syrian and Algerian academy curricula are aggregated by agents and volunteers. There are added than 4,000 crowdsourced videos "growing at a amount of 70% per annum, Nafham is assuredly accession itself as the arch educational belvedere in the MENA region." Mohamed additionally mentions KSA- based Sawerly as a cogent success adventure from Flat6Labs Jeddah.
"Sawerly accelerating from Flat6Labs Jeddah's aboriginal aeon as one of the aboriginal online marketplaces to book photographers in the KSA and the greater MENA region. Sawerly has been authoritative abundant strides and broadcast their database to over than 350 photographers, and delivered tens of photo shoots beyond the Kingdom in the accomplished few months. Sawerly acquire fabricated abundant media appearances, abounding abounding conferences, and afresh won the aboriginal abode award-winning for ArabNet Riyadh 2014 and the Get in the Ring Antagonism in Saudi Arabia."
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Launched in Cairo in 2011, Flat6Labs acclaimed their three-year ceremony in October of aftermost year. Afterwards Cairo, Flat6Labs Jeddah was developed in affiliation with SME-champions Qotuf Al Riyadah in KSA. Their new abject in Abu Dhabi isn't the abandoned announcement; backward aftermost year they appear that an aboriginal date advance aggregation is on the agenda. The goal? To advance 50 actor Egyptian batter (approximately $7 million) in 100 startups over the abutting bristles years. In the aforementioned announcement, Flat6Labs additionally declared that they acquire affairs to get alike bigger with after expansions beyond MENA, including Turkey.
What does it booty to accomplish Mohamad balmy up to your startup idea? "I don't attending at the startup as a 'person'. I don't feel like I acquire to be abandoned absorbed to the startup or like them to be able to accord with them on a circadian basis. It's mainly about the team: are they absolutely amorous about this? You can absolutely see it in their eyes- are they athirst to accomplish this work? Do they apperceive what they charge to get this up and running? Do they acquire the skills? Do they acquire the appropriate bodies on their team? Some startups haven't alike Googled the competition; they don't apperceive the bazaar that they're aggravating to enter! This is the best arresting allotment of our work- they don't do the analysis to see and acquire what they can action bigger than their competitors. We mainly admonition our startups to be as able as possible- we acquire abounding sessions and advisers on aggregate from advice to the added abundant genitalia of business. We offers training and bags of sessions."
Ultimately, Mohamed is bright on what the new accelerator sees as a compound for acknowledged startup candidacy: your business needs to acquire the appropriate elements, in the appropriate order, and that includes adherence and know-how. If your startup has the potential, again they're abaft you all the way with aggregate from skill-building to financing. Startups branch to Abu Dhabi, you're about to capitalize on the region's newest (and possibly best proactive) ecosystem in the region. Their aesthetics starts at the actual top, and it pervades every aspect of the process.
By the Numbers
57 The cardinal of companies created across Egypt and KSA by Flat6Labs jeddah and Flat6Labs Cairo.
160 The cardinal of entrepreneurs abaft these aforementioned companies.
15 Amount in millions of Egyptian pounds aloft in allotment in Egypt alone. 400 The cardinal of jobs created in KSA and Egypt by these companies.
50% The allotment of Flat6Labs companies registered apropos their follow-on allotment rate.
40 The cardinal of altered investors from beyond the apple to date.
60 The cardinal of advisers and speakers accessible to accommodate administration to Flat6Labs startups, in accession to added than 30 local, bounded and all-around partners, above-mentioned to the barrage of Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi.
7,000 The cardinal of training hours accustomed to Flat6Labs startups over a three-year aeon back inception.
80 The cardinal of companies Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi is targeting for barrage over the abutting four years.
"Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi will advance twofour54's bounded ability and accessories accumulated with insights from Emirati business leaders, all-around technology experts, bounded and bounded advance experts and leaders to be one of the fastest and easiest routes to set up calendar businesses in the UAE. twofour54 has additionally apparent Flat6Labs as one of the best accelerator models in the arena to abound a startup ecosystem based on addition in the basic of the UAE. twofour54 is acknowledging Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi with berry capital, facilitated licensing, and authoritative services, appointment space, admission to media assembly facilities, acknowledgment to twofour54's arrangement of experts and mentors, affiliation with twofour54's training programs and admission to adventure basic for accelerating startup companies."
"Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi's eyes is to be a all-around hub for calendar addition that will abutment a bearing of entrepreneurs from the UAE and away to barrage media and calendar businesses in Abu Dhabi, and calibration to bounded and all-around markets."
"We acquire startups in any stage: idea, ancestor or appear product. Its capital focus will be on calendar agreeable and ecommerce, amusing media and aborigine journalism, media and video production, and adaptable applications. Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi will be accessible to any administrator from about the apple to apply. We don't acquire specific allocation based on a assertive demographic, although we would adulation to see added bounded entrepreneurs applying to accompany the affairs as we consistently assignment carefully with altered bounded ecosystem stakeholders in markets we accomplish in to abutment bounded entrepreneurs. We accept that the association is the capital colonnade for the abiding success of any accelerator program, so we are planning several programs and activities to appoint the bounded association and animate bounded entrepreneurs to barrage their businesses through Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi."
"We will accommodate anniversary one that joins Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi accelerator affairs with berry allotment of up to $50,000 for disinterestedness of 10% to 15% with befalling for analogous funds aloft graduation. We are additionally accouterment them with a ample arrangement of casework like cardinal mentorship, a artistic workspace, acknowledged support, a aggregation of allowances that are account added than $300,000, facilitated acceptance acquisition, licensing, and authoritative services, entrepreneurship-focused business training, and anon acknowledging them through an all-embracing arrangement of accomplice entities, advisers and investors."
"We usually focus on three capital belief back selecting teams to accompany any of Flat6Labs' programs. Firstly, the idea; how avant-garde and confusing it is. Secondly, the market; how big the ambition bazaar is, the abeyant for advance and scaling, and how the antagonism looks like. Third, the best important of all is the team, its members' background, and if they acquire the abilities bare to auspiciously body the product, access the market, and calibration the business in the future."
"Our archetypal is based on an accelerated clip of advance cycles. We will be active four ages cycles alert every year- in anniversary cycle, we are assured to advance 10 startups. We opened the appliance of the aboriginal aeon during the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in November and we apprehend to alpha our aboriginal accelerator aeon in this quarter."
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