ArabNet Kuwait gathered entrepreneurs around exciting panels and talks

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After lots of announcements about ArabNet conference, the event successfully landed to Kuwait for the first time. Arraya Ballroom was the place to be on October 4 and 5. There were representatives of many respectable companies, such as KNET, MasterCard, Twitter, Careem and many others. We were also there, wouldn’t miss such an event that brings us the opportunity to attend interesting panels and talks.

Well-known speakers and panelists

One of the major conference panels was the opening panel that gathered Kuwait’s leading entrepreneurship advocates – Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani (Vice Chairman at The National Fund for SMEs Development), Essa Al Essa (Chairman at Mefazec), Mohammad Alhajeri (Chief Investment Officer at Impulse International), Mohammad Jaffar (former CEO of Talabat) and Shafeeq Al-Saed Al-Omar, Assistant Undersecretary at Ministry of State for Youth Affairs. They discussed the digital ecosystem and what are the opportunities and obstacles for entrepreneurs here in Kuwait.

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Hashim Bahbahani, co-founder of Coded and a member of StartupQ8 community, participated in a panel that was held during the second day of the conference. Charles Saliba (Founder and CEO at HR Works s.a.l.) and Meherzad Dastoor, (Senior Manager, People Advisory Services at Ernst & Young) joined him on the stage and discussed talent acquisition since that’s one of the biggest challenges startups face nowadays. They were also talking about challenges startups face, outsourcing or doing everything in-house, the best practices for hiring, training and retaining talent, which we all know it’s not very easy.

Who won the ArabNet Kuwait contests?

Aside from all ArabNet talks and panels, there were two contests. One of those was called Startup Demo Competition, where Meddy by Abdulla AlKhenji (Qatar) won the first place for an app that helps people find best doctors based on patient reviews and credentials. SoukDesigner by Kamel Kabbani (Lebanon) took the second place. It is an online platform that enables people to sell products in their personalized online store easily and economically. Third place went to Pricinity by Ahmad Al-Benali (Kuwait). It’s a search engine for products, prices and stores throughout Kuwait and the region.

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Ideathon contest was won by Jaffer Mohamad Mahdi, the youngest participant at some ArabNet competition so far. With his idea called MySpot, he could actually help resolving one of the crucial problems in Kuwait – finding a parking spot.

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We would like to thank the ArabNet team who worked very hard for the last couple of months to bring this event to Kuwait and gather entrepreneurs and startupers around awesome topics.

Make sure to be there next year!

Why you should attend ArabNet – Kuwait?

So Arabnet is coming to Kuwait! That’s a great news! ArabNet is a yearly conference event done in a Middle Eastern city to celebrate startups, founders, technology and share knowledge. The most famous ArabNet event is probably Arabnet Dubai and Arabnet Beirut. I need to be honest, I never been to any Arabnet event before. But, I know the team behind it, their motivations and how they are adding value to the startup ecosystem in the Middle East. So when they reached out to help them spread the word about the event, we were happy to do so.

But, I was wondering why they choose Kuwait, do they really believe that we have an interesting tech startup scene? Or the event was paid by the government to show that we have something happening in Kuwait! I was also wondering what can a startup founder gain from attending the conference. Is it a waste of time and money to you? Is there any solid evidence that startups will gain from participating? Who is coming to the event? Any cool and important people attending? While my job is to promote the event, I want to make sure you don’t waste your time or money attending Arabnet – Kuwait.

I chatted with Arabnet team and asked them some questions that I think will help you make your decision:

1- Why did you choose Kuwait?

Kuwait is one of the MENA’s hottest digital markets, boasting entrepreneurial success stories, high internet and mobile penetration, and strong appetite for digital & social media services, currently leads in MENA in digital media adoption, on major social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and is home to GCC’s most important online influencers; not to mention that The country is witnessing a surge in entrepreneurship support and institutions, from funds (including the $7B Kuwait National Fund for SME development in 2013), to co-working spaces, angels and investors. Kuwait is one of the most promising digital ecosystems in MENA today.

2- Who is attending the event?

ArabNet Kuwait 2016 will be bringing together corporate decision-makers innovators, investors, accelerators and top leaders in the MENA region and from around the globe such as : The National Fund for SMEs Development Vice Chairman Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani (Investor/Accelerator) , Beco Capital CEO (Investor/Accelerator), MEVP managing partner (Investor/Accelerator) 212 Managing Director (Investor/Accelerator) as well as a variety of decision makers and top leaders from different countries around the globe such as : Andrew Hyde Director of New Programming at Techstars ( Entrepreneurship) , Lloyed Lobo Chief Growth Officer | Speakeasy.co at Boast Capital  (Entrepreneurship) and many more.

 

3- What entrepreneurs should expect (Some success stories)?

  • [Arabnet Beirut 2016 – Innovation Avenue] Krimston 2 have launched a Kickstarter campaign here
  • Arabnet Beirut 2015 – Startup Demo] Handasiyat founder and CEO on Forbes list of 100 business women in MENA here
  • [Arabnet Riyadh 2014 – Startup Demo] ShortPoint signed a strategic partnership with TjDeeD Technology & DSOA here
  • [Arabnet Riyadh 2015 – Startup Demo] Vanoman qualifies for the international semi-finals of GITR here
  • [Arabnet Summit 2010 – Startup Demo] FOO gets majority stake acquired by Zain here
  • [Arabnet Beirut 2016 – Startup Demo] Reable gets selected to join Techstar’s Barclays Accelerator in Cape Town here
  • [Arabnet Riyadh 2012 – Startup Demo] Foodpanda acquires Hungerstation in Saudi Arabia here
  • [Arabnet Riyadh 2015 – Startup Demo] B8ak earned $10,000 in the 8th MIT Arab Enterprise Forum here
  • [Arabnet Beirut 2015 – Startup Demo] Mini Exchange launching KSA site here
  • Wuzzuf and Eventtus are on the list of The 20 Most Promising Egyptian Startups here
  • [Arabnet Riyadh 2015 – Startup Demo] Jellyfish to Silicon Valley. Monica & TopShou at Speed@BDD Demo Day here
  • [Aabnet Cairo 2011 – Startup Demo] Mai Medhat, founder of the Eventtus, sits with US President Obama here
  • [Arabnet Summit 2012 – Startup Demo] Reserveout raises $4M Series A from Silicon Badia here

The agenda is not finalized so I didn’t get permission to share it with you guys.

To register for the event please visit the link below:
https://arabnet.me/conference/kuwait/

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