That’s a wrap! #F6LOpenDay has ended … we had amazing attendance, fantastic presentations from the teams, alumni and mentors. Thanks everybody for coming. (at Flat6Labs)
Happening now: Hesham Shatta from @ThinkMarketingM with a very interesting training session on Social Media for Entrepreneurs. (at Flat6Labs)
Its now in your hands to bring your idea to life! Don’t hesitate & apply to Flat6Labs’ Fall cycle. www.flat6labscairo.com
In the 2nd Blog in our “Meet our Mentors” series we’re introducing Maha Ibrahim General Partner at Canaan Partners. Maha has been involved in the venture capital and technology industries for over 15 years, developing a stellar reputation for supporting entrepreneurs through all phases of the startup cycle. Maha started to mentor Tamreeni from our current Spring 2014 Cycle. We’ve asked Maha a few questions to shed some light on Maha’s experience on several topics and her opinion on others here:
Please give a little introduction about yourself.
My name is Maha Ibrahim. I have been a General Partner with Canaan Partners for 14 years, investing in early stage information technology companies. I invest in both enterprise-focused and consumer-focused companies.
What’s the most common question or concern you’re asked about from Start-ups?
Entrepreneurs in the US, particularly in a frothy market such as this, recognize that the relationship with their VC partners is going to be a long and close one, much like a marriage. Trust needs to be established and tested early. Entrepreneurs should not just take the best or first offer for money they receive; they should spend time getting to know their future partners and do reference calls to understand how the partners react, not just during successful outcomes, but also during times of crisis.
Having mentored women in entrepreneurship, how do you see Egyptian women entrepreneurs in Egypt?
I have seen no differences. Rana and Yossra from Tamreeni are so sophisticated and ambitious. I have loved that they have been so open to suggestions, just like what I expect from entrepreneurs in the US.
What’s the most common mistake you think most start-ups fall into doing?
The most common reasons for failure in startups are market size and market timing. Early stage investors take risks that the market for a company’s product or service will evolve into something very large in a couple of year period. In the best of cases, the startups can be major catalysts for a market forming — that’s when the outcomes can be enormous.
What type of start-up would you like to see come out of the Middle East or Egypt?
That is such a difficult question to answer because the Middle East is so diverse from the standpoints of income levels, cultures, population density and political stability. Most (but not all) startups will not have the capabilities to span the entire region and should therefore focus on opportunities in specific geographies, optimize their service for that locale and then plan on growth beyond those initial borders.
How’s your experience mentoring Tamreeni from our current cycle?
I am so impressed by Rana and Yossra’s intelligence and drive. They are so nimble and committed to improving their service. The a-la-carte fitness craze in Egypt is just starting and Tamreeni will be at the forefront. The biggest challenges thus far have been logistical in nature — how to get the best, most viral, stickiest, highest quality fitness community built in Egypt where bandwidth can be constrained and transportation to physical locations can take time.
What’s the one thing you must tell every entrepreneur you mentor?
Be nimble. The idea you start off with will likely morph considerably as you get more and more customer and partner data points. A huge part of being nimble is opening yourself up to receiving feedback from the market and therefore course correcting as you need to.
You can also check out Maha’s Interview by TechCrunch on Ask a VC here:
Just starting Coaching Session with Osman Badran on branding !
Our day at El Minia! #InnovationDay
Regardless your start-up’s specialization we’ll provide the right training for the job! At Flat6Labs training sessions are a weekly occurrence at the office with various leading trainers and business professionals from across all industries to train our start-up on how they can further develop their skills and eventually their product.
The training sessions could vary from business model training, sales techniques, public speaking and much more depending on the variety and specialization of start-ups at a given cycle in the year.
If you would like to benefit from the training sessions as well as ALL the other benefits and perks that Flat6Labs Cairo offers to start your own business, this is your chance! APPLY for the Fall 2014 cycle application now HERE.
VIDEO: @WamdaME #MixNMentor round tables are in full session!
If you’re a start-up being accelerated by Flat6Labs Cairo then you’re already enjoying the multitude of services and perks that you’re being offered in your 4 month acceleration period. One of those are the coaching sessions that we provide on a weekly basis by industry leaders and professionals to give one-to-one coaching sessions on multiple topics to boost the start-ups. That’s for them to be as prepared as possible once they graduate and hit the market.
We’re now accepting applications for the Fall 2014 cycle, so if you have a winning business idea APPLY now to benefit from all the services that Flat6Labs offers!
A seriously interactive, fun and informative training session today by Yasser Fathy on Sales techniques!