For as long as one can remember, startups and entrepreneurship have become the new Egyptian dream. Millennials shy away from the long and tedious road of career development, and their eyes glisten at the appeal of an entrepreneurial life, the dream of an overnight success, and the freedom that it grants.
This golden halo surrounding the idea of being an entrepreneur is faulty to the core; the concept of an overnight success does not exist. RiseUp 18 takes place this December on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of the month. The sixth edition of this annual event seeks to replace that dreamy idea of startups with a more grounded perspective. The biggest entrepreneurial event in Egypt wants to showcase real local challenges, from honest local entrepreneurs, who can share with the audience their actual experiences, what sort of tough challenges they faced, and how they had to be patient, smart, and hard working in order to come up with practical solutions and rise up with their company.
RiseUp CEO & Co-founder Abdelhameed Sharara says that, “grounded experiences means we are looking at local needs, local gaps, and developing solutions for them with the resources available.” This is why the event has a speaker line-up featuring Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Tourism; Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, as well as talks from hundreds of start-ups from the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, a host of successful international conglomerates such as Uber, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Pepsico, and Vodafone Egypt will all have their own talks and workshops, focused on local experiences and challenges, courtesy of their executives.
Adding a different perspective to the event, there are also global experiences bringing in a different point of view to the startup scene in Egypt and the MENA region. You can attend talks by global figures such as Jason Pau, Chief of Staff, Office of the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group; Brook Entwistle, Chief Business Office at Uber International, as well as Ryno Rijnsubrger, CTO of Microsoft 4Afrika. You can also hear a talk from Bart Van Der Vel, Head of Luxury at Facebook. Now that’s a fancy-sounding position.
New this year at RiseUp Summit 18 is their partnership with Facebook, of which Nashwa Aly, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for MENA, spoke very proudly. “We’re very happy to be one of the main sponsors of RiseUp Summit for the first time, an event now recognised as a key startup forum in the region.” Facebook’s participation at RiseUp will include a number of talks and panels from people at Facebook, talking about real local issues, as well as FBStart, giving 50 winners access to the Startup Pitch competition.
But that’s not all. Aside from talks, speeches, and workshops, there are always some special events going on at RiseUp Summit. The RiseUp Pitch Competition is back of course, and it gives a chance for 50 of MENA’s best startups to go head-to-head with their three-minute pitches to show off their idea and win prizes. New entrepreneurs can also get valuable advice from Algebra Ventures, and their 15-minute one-on-one sessions, Investor Office Hours.
Wuzzuf is also returning with their Match-making Event, where senior professionals and rising startups meet together as these startups look to bolster their company with experienced board members. As for Uber, their Pitch-n-Ride is back again and they’re giving ten entrepreneurs a chance to wow investors in a 10-minute Uber ride to get investment or a free consultation, this year there will be a screen set up in the car to allow entrepreneurs to pitch with a presentation. The HIPOs startup program is also back to shed light on 18 of the highest potential growth startups in the region.
Are you still deliberating? To learn more about the RiseUp Summit 2018 agenda, follow this link. Or register here to join the 5,000 individuals attending RiseUp Summit and meet people from over 40 countries around the globe.