Mapture off to Silicon Valley!

Exciting times ahead for Mapture as they ready themselves to attend PITME’s three-week acceleration program for Middle Eastern startups in Silicon Valley. Each day a minimum of three mentors will engage with participants to guide them through their entrepreneurial journey of increasing revenue, growing their companies, raising money and better managing long-term partnerships.

image

CEO Zeyad Salloum Pitching on stage at the Seventh Flat6Labs Cairo Demo Day

Mapture is a mobile application that provides a fast, easy way for you to share geotagged content anonymously, on a map. Simply capture a photo, and watch it upload on the map, assured that your identity will remain anonymous.

Teams will receive expert training in different aspects of their business, including product development, UX/UI design, marketing, business modeling, customer acquisition strategies, funding, and much more.

image

CEO Zeyad Salloum & CDO Bahaa Hashem at Flat6Labs Cairo’s Business Networking Event

As they are mainly targeting the US market, this is a massive opportunity for Mapture to solidify and build strategic relationships on the ground. CEO Zeyad Salloum is very excited about the trip has his eyes set on gaining the needed experience and exposure for Mapture.

Check Wamda’s coverage on Mapture here.

Mapture’s pitch at Flat6Labs Cairo’s Seventh Demo Day:

US GAN Tour: Flat6Labs Jeddah Start-ups Aim for the US Market

Kanoosh and Smartable, two Flat6Labs Jeddah graduates, took part in the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) tour in the United States sharing the experience with entrepreneurs from across the world (11 countries in total).

The tour took place across two states in the US (San Francisco, California /  Los Angeles, California / & Boulder, Colorado) during which they visited notable locations including 500 StartupsTechstars, and Silicon Valley Bank. Both Kanoosh and Smartable aim to launch their products in the US market, with the tour proving to be a vital asset and eye-opening experience for the KSA-based entrepreneurs.

image

Photo:  Aqeel & Bawazeer at 500 Startups accelerator

Kanoosh is a mobile app which connects people’s needs to relevant products and services. Kanoosh graduated Flat6Labs Jeddah in the Fall 2013 cycle. Smartable is a Spring 2014 cycle graduate that aims to narrow the gap between education outputs and workforce skill requirements through optimal utilization of psychometric and aptitude exams.

The tour mainly focused its activities around expanding and launching a business in the US market. Visiting a multitude of accelerators, meeting mentors and entrepreneurs alike in the US gave the Saudi entrepreneurs the exposure and experience they required in order to gauge what was needed to tap into the American market and possess the knowledge to allow them to one day launch their product there.

 “We visited several accelerators and have seen very innovative ideas and that made us even more confident towards the startup community back home and at Flat6Labs Jeddah.” commented Saud Bawazeer, Smartable co-founder. He added, “We believe that the innovation in Saudi start-ups is up-to par with the ideas here of what is considered to be a global hub of startups and innovation.”

Both startups took this opportunity to study and investigate which state would be their best bet to kick-start their business in. Kanoosh CEO Hashim Geoffrey said that for the nature of his business, Los Angeles would be most appropriate as the state is known with its major media production capabilities and a proliferation of SMEs; allowing for their business to tap into expanding the use of their mobile application. Smartable co-founder Mohammad Aqeel however concluded that their best bet to start is Boston. “The young talent in Boston is exceptional with a high concentration of colleges” Aqeel noted. 

image

Hashim Geoffrey at Google HQ in Mountain View, California

The founders of Kanoosh and Smartable both echoed how the GAN founders trip was a segue to a new stage of their respective businesses; it also gave them assurance that Saudi entrepreneurs and their ideas are innovative enough to be able to compete in diverse markets.

A Boost to Entrepreneurship in Africa: Flat6Labs and VC4Africa Partner Up.

Flat6Labs and VC4Africa are collaborating towards the common goal of supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. The partnership will entail ‘exploring together the different opportunities in the entrepreneurial space in Africa, cross mentorship programs, utilizing the VC4Africa platform, as well as supporting the local startup ecosystems in Africa through an array of activities and events to be planned together.’

Check out the some of Q&As they had with Flat6Labs’ CEO Ramez Mohamed:

What are your tips to other investors active in Africa, to support and guide entrepreneurs towards success?

Flat6Labs’ philosophy has always been developed around natural selection and that we believe in both success and failure and that both are needed to develop a healthy ecosystem where successful entrepreneurs are rewarded and failed ones are also supported to learn from mistakes and try again later on. My advice to the investors in general would be to believe in the entrepreneurs and give them the space and support they need to innovate and grow.

Do you think the start-up landscape in Egypt is different from other parts of Africa? What are your suggestions for Africa’s startups?

We think the start-up landscape in Egypt as well as different parts of Africa mainly remain untapped with a huge underlying potential that still needs to be unveiled, and this can be put on the fast track by providing the right group of entrepreneurs with the appropriate capital and support environment they need.

As a new partner of VC4Africa, how do you see and (plan to) use the VC4Africa community?

We plan to have many areas of collaboration with VC4Africa, including exploring together the different opportunities in the entrepreneurial space in Africa, cross mentorship programs, utilizing the VC4Africa platform, as well as supporting the local startup ecosystems in Africa through an array of activities and events we plan to do together in the future.

Learn More about VC4Africa here