StartupQ8 monthly event introduced Ihsan Jawad as a first speaker in 2017

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On January 25th we kicked off our first StartupQ8 monthly event in the already known Global Tower, but this time in a completely new format. You are wondering what it looks like? We have only one speaker and it’s more like an interview, plus we have an official networking part. This time we hade an opportunity to host Ihsan Jawad, founder of Zawya and managing partner at Middle East Venture Partners. Abdullah Alshalabi from fishfishme was interviewing him, but the attendees were also very active so the whole thing was very interactive.

As previously mentioned, the event itself was divided into two parts. The first one included interview format with all kind of entrepreneurial questions for Ihsan, while the other one was dedicated to networking and discussions about three topics – fundraising, design and technology.

(Information) sharing is caring

During the first part of the event Ihsan was talking about Zawya and how he started it and sold the company after a number of years, and how did he become an investor. He founded his own investment company and then he joined MEVP, the biggest venture capital in the region, and started investing in companies little by little. He was also talking about difficulties as a VC, internet companies and much more.

What he was trying to explain is that companies such as Souq.com are actually not internet companies, even though people consider those that way. He defined such companies as businesses with a website. Their website is like a channel for selling their products. For Ihsan, a real internet company is something where a user can add a value and can make a contribution. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram… According to him, these are all internet companies.

A change after for 4 years

As for the format of the StartupQ8 monthly event, Alshalabi says that after 4 years of organizing StartupQ8 monthly even the most important things for the team are human relationships and networking. They wanted to make it about networking and focus on one speaker who can add a value to the startup community in Kuwait.

In the spirit of the new event format, we would like to conclude this blog post with a quote by Michele Jennae:

“Networking means the act of exchanging information with people who can help you professionally.”

Photo gallery

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How to Make Kuwait a Regional Tech Hub? StartupQ8 Monthly Event Brings the Answers

StartupQ8 event for June was one of the best monthly events we ever had, we can say that without doubt. Not to mention that Mefazec’s coworking space on the first day of June was full of people who wanted to explore the world of startups in Kuwait and how can we make it better.

The event was also a crown of Coded Spring Bootcamp 2016. Co-founder of Coded Ahmad Marafi handed over diplomas to their students with the help of Richard Kramlich, well-known venture capitalist. He is also a co-founder of New Enterprise Associates, a global venture capital company that invests in technology and healthcare.

In the meantime, CEO of fishfishme Abdullah Alshalabi, founder of Lumba, Inc. Abdullah Alzabin, and former CEO of Talabat Mohammed Jaffar as panelists, and Hashim Bahbahani from Coded as a moderator were getting ready to take over the stage and discuss on how to make Kuwait a regional tech hub.

The conclusion of the panel discussion is that building a tech sector is definitely a viable way of moving Kuwait from a country that relies on oil for more than half of its GDP to the place where other sectors are equally represented. We are all aware of the fact that capital is here. We’re also working on a talent and legal structure improvement. The most important thing above all is to make Kuwait friendly place for expats so they can decide on moving and working in Kuwait more easily.

The last but not least speaker was Alvaro Abella from BECO Capital, one of the leading venture capital companies in the Middle East. He was joined on stage by Yousef Hammad. They talked about how entrepreneurs can structure a pitch deck to catch investors’ attention, what to focus on in the presentation, and what content to include. They also spoked about how to choose an investor, and what VCs look for in startups.

That’s all, folks! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more events. And one more thing. Keep in mind that our friends from Coded are organizing full-time summer bootcamp and invite you to apply. Hurry up because the deadline is June 13th and you might get one of the two available scholarships!

StartupQ8 Event for April reveals a secret to Silicon Valley

On April 24th, we hosted our monthly event which was extra special thanks to guys from Flexport, and our panelists Dr. Mussaad Al-Razouki, Philip Pasler and Abdul Qader Hussain.

The event was held at Mefazec, a venue provider for Coded’s spring bootcamp. It started along with Flexport team, Sanne Manders and Ryan Petersen, who talked about their startup path.

If you weren’t familiar with this San Francisco based startup before, it is a licensed freight forwarder that uses people and software to manage the complexity of international trade. It is also a Y Combinator and Google Ventures backed startup that has been featured in Bloomberg, Forbes, and others. They move lots of air freight and thousands of containers of ocean freight every month, and also provide all the necessary coordinating functions.

During the talk, Sanne mentioned that startups need to concentrate on a customer experience and not look so much on a marketing, shareholders etc. According to him, focusing on a customer experience is the key to a Silicon Valley.

The other part of event was dedicated to angel investor and VC panel where entrepreneurs and investors discussed fundraising for startups. White answering the questions from the audience, Dr. Mussaad emphasized the importance of a good team. Investors don’t invest in your idea, they invest in you and your team. So, if you are running a startup, be sure to find the right people for your team – not only because of potential investments, but your business and success.

After the event came to its end, we rounded it up with networking with pizza as we usually do.

Keep an eye on our Instagram and Twitter account and be the first to find out about StartupQ8’s events!

StartupQ8 Traffic Numbers

I promised that I’m going to share all of the traffic numbers of this blog after each 20-30 posts. We just passed our 40th post so it’s time to share some numbers . I also want to celebrate something, yesterday we had 196 views, which means we passed our previous record of number views in a single day (101 views) . Below is the graph of the traffic during the last 30 days:

As you can see there was a huge jump yesterday and I think its a good case study to learn how we made this jump. As you might know, I wrote a couple of posts 6 days ago titeled  “Let’s learn from Chile“. On the same days I uploaded these posts we only got 30 views per day. But, today we reached 196 views. So how did this happen?

Yesterday there was a post in TechCrunch  titled “China is the Fastest Growing Market for iOS & Andriod Devices, Chile in 2nd“. So what I did is I left a comment in the post, hoping that this will drive some traffic to the blog and also to show my support to Chile (I really wish one day I’ll visit this country and sit with Startup Chile Team). Below is the comment I left:

Watch what happened today and yesterday:


I got most of my views from Chile on the last couple of days, but I also get some good traffic from the US and other countries such as Turkey and Canada.

This is how it looks like now for our all time viewers by country:

In short, leaving a comment in a very popular blog like TechCrunch (2.5M views per day) can generate a lot of traffic to your website if you correctly placed your comment. However, the real question is “How many people will continue visiting your blog or website in the future?” That’s what I’m really interested to know.
I was honored to get that much readers from Chile and from many other interesting countries that I consider as pioneers in creating startup ecosystems. Moreover, I hope they will frequently visit our blog so that they can share with us some of their experiences, thus they help us with building our Startup Ecosystem here in our small country Kuwait.

A kind request: Please follow this blog by subscribing to the email list in the right-side bar, or by following my twitter account @a_alshalabi

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