Venture Capital in Arabia: The Challenges and Opportunities

N2V and AUC School of Business held a joint event on Saturday 19 Feb about the VC industry in the Middle East. Around 83 people attended the event, interacted with each other and with our guests.

The event started with a panel discussion entitled "Interesting Views on Innovation and VC Culture in MENA" featuring Ahmed Alfi, CEO of Sawari Ventures, Walid Bakr from Abraj Capital, Ziad Mokhtar of Ideavelopers, Tamkeen's Tarek Fahim, and moderated by N2V Investment Director Ahmed Takatkah.

The panelists tackled some of the key opportunities and challenges facing VC investments in the region and the increasingly important role of venture capital firms in fostering economic growth.

This was followed by a private screening of "Something Ventured - Risk, Reward, and the Original Venture Capitalists" It is a great documentary film. Particularly captivating since most of us knew some of the players and knew of all of the companies.

It told of the early days of Kliener Perkins and the funding of Steve Jobs - including interviews with some people who turned him down because he was "arrogant, hippy and smelled bad". At one point, 33% of Apple could have been bought for $50,000.
It included stories of the founding of Cisco (and the firing of the founder by the VC), Atari, Genentech, Tandem, Intel and others.

Last night N2V sponsored another private screening of "Something Ventured" at the ITWorks HQ in Cairo, which was attended by over 25 ITWorx employees and guests.