Arabreneur Holds the Second Angel Pitching Event to Accelerate Startups in Jerusalem
Arabreneur, in partnership with USAID and Startup Bootcamp, the largest European network of accelerators, organized the Second Angel Pitching Event on April 6th at the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. Mr. Michael Ratney, U.S. Consul General, Ms. Katherine Verrier-Fréchette, Head of Mission of the Canadian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority, and Mr. David Harden, Mission Director of USAID West Bank/Gaza attended the event, in addition to international and local business and investment leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, contributors to the Global & Middle Eastern Entrepreneurial eco-system as well as Arabreneur’s corporate sponsors Price Waterhouse Coopers, Mada al Arab, Maan News Network and Raya FM.
After the successful first pitching event last November, four startups received investment from Arabreneur and several local and international investors. In four months these companies have already accelerated their development tremendously: one company expanded its market by signing contracts in Jordan, KSA, Dubai, Iraq and Canada; a second company was selected from among many international startups as the first Palestinian startup to take part in the Microsoft Ventures acceleration program; and another company attended the Google Blackbox program in Silicon Valley.
During the event on April 6th, Arabreneur showcased seven new promising Palestinian startups for the Arabreneur Venture Fund and other angel investors interested in new investment opportunities. The companies presented various exciting products, including; an online game, a platform for MENA freelancers, an Arabic website builder, a platform for online therapy, a mobile image recognition application, and an ingredient-based recipe website. The seven companies passionately pitched their ideas to the public, showing high levels of professionalism and dedication.
During his opening speech, Dr. Abdulmalek Al-Jaber, Chairman and Founder of Arabreneur, praised the advanced level of the Palestinian entrepreneurs, and he emphasized that “Arabreneur goes beyond cash investment, we also provide support and help startups tap into our networks; we are currently working in five Arab countries, with plans to expand.” Al-Jaber also highlighted the importance of the partnership between Arabreneur and Startup Bootcamp, which has offices all over the world that will Palestinian startups access foreign markets.
Dr Al-Jaber thanked Arabreneur’s strategic partners, Maan News Network and Raya FM, which will highlight and celebrate the initiatives of leading Palestinian startups and ensure Palestinian youth have a medium to show their successes. The partnership with Mada Al-Arab will provide the startups with online services, hosting and technical expertise. “Mada Al-Arab is a great example of a successful entrepreneurship. Mada has achieved big successes that will provide an example for the companies of Arabreneur to achieve greater successes,” noted Al-Jaber.
In his keynote speech, Mr. David Harden, Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) noted that USAID supports Arabreneur because it “is integrated with USAID’s efforts to develop and enhance the Palestinian IT sector, opening new horizons and helping Palestinian companies to grow and increase their competitiveness, enabling them to enter regional and international markets and attract global investment.”
During the event, Arabreneur signed a partnership agreement with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), to provide specialized support to the Arabreneur startups from one of the largest international financial consulting and audit companies, encouraging start-up companies to comply with international standards, thereby making them more attractive to global investors.
Mr. Aied Eed, partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers added, “We, at PWC, will support the Arabreneur acceleration program and participating entrepreneurs by providing professional, legal, accounting and financial advise to the entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses—this will play an important role in the later stages when they are ready for regional and global investment.”
“The next step,” said Radi El Fassed, Arabreneur Co-Founder and Program Director, “is that Arabreneur will invest in some of the new companies that have just pitched their ideas. Those companies will have access to the Arabreneur co-working space, which has all the facilities that are required for the startups to grow further.” Arabreneur plans to organize these pitching events on a quarterly basis and has a commitment to invest in 12 companies in the first year.
“The engineering expertise and technology that was displayed today, was highly professional,” said Mr. Andy Shannon of Startup Bootcamp Global. “This shows the great development and the potential for success of the Palestinian startups in particular, and the knowledge-based economy for the Middle East in general,” Shannon continued.
Arabreneur Venture Fund will decide in the coming weeks which of the new companies will receive investments and hopes to finalize this process in early May, after which the companies will be accelerated through the Arabreneur eco-system. Startups interested in the next pitching event can apply through Arabreneur’s website: www.arabreneur.com