Global Tech from MENA

If you think about it, there is no reason why technology could not start from anywhere, specifically from MENA. There are some huge market opportunities that are so specific to emerging markets that they are not even on Silicon Valley or Europe’s radar. While attending a quiet barbecue at his dad’s house in Lebanon, my partner Henri Asseily discovered a tech geek who created a 50-micron 3D printer faster than a coffee brewer in his garage next door. My house in Beirut has electricity 24/7 in a country with power cuts that average 6 hours a day thanks to a Read More …

Why Now Is The Time For The Middle East To Invest In Youth And Innovation

I am a big fan of Chappatte, the Lebanese-Swiss cartoonist who often draws for the New York Times. I find a lot of wisdom in his drawings. When I saw this recent comic above, I thought it illustrated a moonshot opportunity for the Middle East. Current oil prices have put all Arab countries on an equal footing: whether oil producing or not, they are “oil-poor” given current oil prices. The moonshot opportunity is to reach 30% of GDP coming from the digital economy in any Arab country within 10 years. Leaders in these countries should start this process today by Read More …

Startup payroll: stay lean

Back from a trip to Silicon Valley, I thought a few lessons from there on CEO and founder salary in a startup would be most beneficial to our middle eastern startups. I had the chance to interview a few CEOs and venture capitalist, and discussed with Quanergy founder Louay Eldada his 3-year without salary and then 50% salary cut in paycheck in year 3 when he started his company, despite a recent closing on a $30 million dollar-round. Louay left a position as CTO at SunEdison to found Quanergy. His effective salary the first 3 years was negative as he Read More …