Category Archives: Events

Events

The biggest tech conference in CEE region

Already for the 11th time representatives of startups will be able to participate in the infoShare conference – the largest event for technology industry in Central and Eastern Europe. The event will take place on 17-19 of May in Gdansk, Poland. It will be accompanied by a Startup Contest, one of the biggest startup competitions in the CEE region. It is organized by the infoShare Foundation and Gdansk Business Incubator Starter. The winner will receive EUR 20 000 and will have a chance to win EUR 1 million. Startup struggles will be observed by over 5000 potential customers and business partners. More than 100 VCs and angel investors will attend along with speakers from companies like Google, Netflix, and Slack, and investment firms such as Inventure and Karma VC.

Last year there participated 200 startups from 13 countries. The international jury awarded the first place to Nexbio company, which is working on new methods for detection of crop diseases.

infoShare is an opportunity for young companies to raise funds too. Last year Saas Manager, creator of a platform for developers, won support in the amount of EUR 250 000. Many business representatives got interested in SaaS Manager before the announcement of the competition’s results. By the last day of the conference the company established contacts with companies such as Amazon, Intel, OVH or Startupbootcamp. And most importantly, the company started cooperation with FerberVC fund.

In this year’s competition there will also be provided additional prizes. Two of the best companies, in which there is at least one person from Poland, will receive so called wild cards to participate in the Pitch event in London. They enable innovators to present their offers to the investors in the UK. Microsoft will provide access to data processing in the cloud with a value of up to $ 120 000.

Events that will support startups in Middle East

Increasing access to the latest technologies in countries where the largest social group are young citizens, lets us hope that technological revolution in the MENA region will come. In countries where the main problem is unemployment, the best alternative for many young entrepreneurs is to develop their own startup. A significant proportion of women in technology industry in the Arab world shows that, in the future, it can have a positive impact also on increasing their professional activity.

Development of the industry and encouraging innovation in emerging markets is an opportunity not only for the local community. The potential of the IT sector in developing countries is increasingly perceived in the West. Interest in the Middle East and achievements of local startups increases due to significant success of projects undertaken in this region.

Nowadays, five years after the Arab Spring, the economy in the region is slowly stabilizing, and entrepreneurs who want to develop their own startup have more opportunities for business growth and success. There are numerous programs such as accelerative Oasis500 in Jordan or MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, which currently runs recruitment for the ninth edition of the program in the MENA region.

In the Middle East they are also organized numerous international events, which aim to promote local projects outside the region, as well as integration of the market with Western entrepreneurs and investors. During such events it is possible to exchange experiences and knowledge, and to become familiar with achievements of local startups in the Middle East region, which has the potential to play an increasingly important role in the global market. In the last year, conferences in the Middle East were attended by: Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten from TheNextWeb or Dave McClure from 500 Startups. It is worth looking at some major events in the Middle East, whose further editions will be held this year: Step Conference (Dubai, 5-7 April 2017); MENA Games (Beirut, April); ArabNet Digital Summit (Dubai, 16-17 May); Startup Istanbul (Istanbul, 6 -10 October 2017); Webrazzi Summit (Istanbul, October 18-19 2017); RiseUp Summit (Cairo, December 2017).

The main objective of the organizers of these conferences is to gather specialists who want to share their knowledge and experience. An important point of events such as ArabNet, Turkey Startup or Startup Istanbul is to present startups, whose creators throughout duration of the conference participate in numerous workshops and compete for the opportunity to present in front of investors. During the events organized by Webrazzi in Turkey, as well as RiseUP Summit, a conference on the latest technologies in Egypt, the creator of the best startups also has the opportunity to meet with the conference participants and present their ideas in designated areas at the festival. MENA Games, organized in Beirut, is in turn one of the largest festivals dedicated to computer games in the region.

The organizers believe that promotion of local innovations and projects in the technology industry in the Middle East is crucial for accelerating economic growth and consistently improves quality of life in the region. The stories of many successful local startups can also be inspiring for Western companies, who are increasingly thinking about expansion into emerging markets.

MENA startups you need to know

Recently in Bahrain took place the MENA Angel Investor Summit 2016, which is one of the largest meetings of venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, angel investment organizations and entrepreneurs. The event’s purpose is to build a strong supportive and sustainable start-up ecosystem and grow the angel investment community in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Since the first Summit in 2010, over 1000 regional and international investors have been able to connect with around 150 high-potential innovative entrepreneurs from the region. This has resulted in USD 6 million investments. This year gave a chance to over 30 promising start-ups. Most of them had a competitive edge with regional and global appeal. Below we present 5 most interesting ones.

GetBaqala – It comes from Bahrain. It aims to make grocery shopping fast, simple and convenient. It is an m-commerce platform, which enables people to purchase daily needs and groceries from their neighborhood magazines and then brings the products to their doorstep within 2 hours. The goal is to make local shopping experience easy and pleasant for buyers thanks to connecting them to their trusted merchants from their neighborhood via a mobile app. The startup plans to reach 300 orders daily by December 2017.

myU – It comes from Kuwait. It is an app for school communication. In each school it works as intranet social network of pupils, faculty members, clubs and organizations. The tool makes it easy to communicate in real-time with anyone in the school community. It can be used if a teacher wants to announce something to his pupils, or when a school organization wants to promote its events and activities, or when a pupil wants to ask about an exam date. The startup has more than 60,000 users and over 1,000 educators. In 2016 it reached revenues of $75,000.

Masmoo3 – It comes from Jordan. It is an online platform, which produces and publishes Arabic Audiobooks. It offers Arabic speakers a digital library of Arabic audiobooks. They are accessible using the internet download and smartphones apps. The aim is to provide Arabic speakers with luxury of listening to books while practicing everyday activities like driving, walking, playing sports, and relaxing.

Elmuda– It comes from Jordan. It is the Middle East’s premier online luxury fashion store. The online platform connects modern women with more than 150 brands around the world, where they can buy unique products from London to LA, Berlin to Bucharest, Paris to Milan.

Kotobna – It comes from Egypt. It is the first online self-publishing platform in Arab world. The startup enables young Arab authors to publish, promote and monetize their work via website and mobile app. In half a year there were published 200 e-books, which were downloaded 11,000 times.

Deloitte published the Technology Fast 500 rank

Already for 16 years Deloitte has been conducting the Fast 500 EMEA ranks, which bring together the fastest growing technology companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The ranking is prepared based on the percentage increase in operating income from sales over the last 4 years (2012 vs. 2015). The average revenue growth rate of all companies included in the newest rank amounted to 967%. For comparison, in last year’s edition it was 1 012%  and 1 711% in 2014. This result indicates the growing maturity of the technology industry in the EMEA region.

For the third time in the history of the rank, a Central European company is on the podium. The last time was in 2012, when Romanian company Vola.ro with the increase of 17 323% took the third place. This year’s leader is Swedish company Fingerprints Cards, specializing in biometric technologies. Over the last four years, the company recorded an increase in revenue of more than 28,000%.

Companies from Central Europe are becoming more apparent among the fastest growing technology companies operating in global markets. Gaining importance are especially those operating in the field of nanotechnology, biotechnology and energy. An example might be HiProMine, which developed the technology of industrial breeding and insects processing. Deloitte strongly supports ambitious technology companies by its platform for cooperation and exchange of experience, for example: the Alumni Fast 50 Program or strategy workshops for the winners.

The largest category of companies, which have been included in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA, are software developers. They constitute up to 50% of the entire list. Another large group are companies operating in the media – there are 14% of them. Third place was taken by entities of the communications industry – 10%.

As in previous years, the most strongly represented country is France. There are 94 French companies on the list. The second place belongs to Great Britain, and the third to the Netherlands.

STATION F, the world’s largest startup campus, will be opened in April 2017

The world’s largest startup campus, STATION F, will be soon opened in April 2017 in central Paris. The campus will own an area of 34,000m2 and it is dedicated for over 1,000 startups. In the startup zone there will be over 3,000 desks, private offices, meeting rooms, various event spaces, an auditorium for 360 attendees, an on-site fablab, a post office, a pop-up shop, a café, a 4-kitchen restaurant and a bar. In 2018 there will also be built a housing facility for 600 entrepreneurs to live in nearby apartments.

STATION F has just opened startup applications. You can apply to a variety of startup programs run by partners. Or you can apply to STATION F’s Founders Program from December 5th to February 5th online at www.stationf.co. The pricing is €195/desk/month.

STATION F revealed its first members: Facebook, TechShop, vente-privee, and more. Some of the first campus members will include various top-tier players from the international startup ecosystem: the incubator of top French business school HEC Paris; top VC funds (including Daphni, Ventech and Kima Ventures) which will have their offices on-site, the US-based TechShop Ateliers Leroy Merlin which will operate the on-campus prototyping lab.