After the success the Arabnet event held earlier this year, the organizers have come back with a new ‘hands on’ approach to getting businesses launched in the region. They’re going on through Arab cities on a roadshow for entrepreneurs.
Not unlike your traditional roadshow, they plan on putting on some interesting performances for all those interested in attending. It appears what happens in Beirut doesn’t simply stay in Beirut after all.
A blog post they put up recently states that they’ll be on the road for 3 weeks during December on for a hunt for the region’s most promising talent in Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Egypt.
It’s founder Omar Christidis said after the success they had with their Beirut Workshop on Entrepreneurship which attracted an audience from Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria attracting over 170 people.
We had a sit down with Christidis during the Celebration of Entrepreneurship last week to ask him about the roadshow. Here’s what he had to say:
TNW: Why are a roadshow?
Our moto is Find, Train, and Inspire (like that of Wamda‘s).
- Find: talented entrepreneurs wherever they might be
- Train: We want to train them by giving them a practical perspective on entrepreneurship through real stories and successes
- Inspire: By bringing role models in so people can see success stories first hand
So we’re talking about a lawyer giving some advice on corporation, an investor giving them advice on fund raising, an experienced entrepreneur who can talk to them about growing a business growing a product line and hiring employees, business consult structuring their ideas, and a business leader who can tell them what direction to put their startups in.
TNW: What’s in it for Arabnet?
We’re not going to be making much money off of this, we’re doing it to make to Arabnet better.
We found a lot of Entrepreneurs this year [during the event], but we can’t expect them all to come to us, so we’re going to go to them. We’re looking for local sponsors in each city to help get entrepreneurs to the event. It costs a lot to get to the event depending on where your from.
We want to find local partners in each city to help fly entrepreneurs in. If we can do that, we can help even more people launch.
We think it’s great to help entrepreneurs launch in the region, although a bit skeptical on how much they can accomplish going on a roadshow with all the resources that implies instead of say, launch the same workshop online.
Time will tell just how successful it’ll be by both the size of next year’s Arabnet and how many companies actually launch as a result of it. Either way, we’re excited to see energy levels reach a higher level next year. 2011 looks like its going to be the year of Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.