It is inspiring to see how our MENA startup scene is flourishing year on year. RiseUp Summit, an event series that didn’t exist 5 years ago, is today one of the most anticipated events for startups, entrepreneurs, and everyone involved in the ecosystem. Last year they hosted 200 speakers, 100 exhibitors, 100 partners, and a stunning 4700 attendees coming from 127 cities!
This year should set a new record as the ripple effect is building up a wider, more educated community, and I can clearly see how the region is moving and at what pace.
Apart from the excitement I have looking forward to the event, here is what I can share with you so far and why you should attend if you’re an entrepreneur, techy, investor, or simply passionate about the ecosystem.
Date, Time, and Generic Details
It is happening from Friday 1st till Sunday 3rd of December 2017 (which by the way is a great time to visit Cairo), at the Greek Campus (coworking space) and the American University in Cairo.
You can get a letter of invitation if you need to apply for a visa (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org), they partnered with a bunch of hotels to offer exclusive discounts, and you must know the official language is English. PS: Don’t forget to download the official app (which will be announced on December 1st).
Here’s a short uplift video before we move to the next section.
Tickets, Pricing, and ROI
The early bird period has ended, which leaves you with the regular tickets, available until November 15 for 600 Egyptian pounds (34 USD), the late owl for ~1.5x the price, and if you’re a student you will be able to get it for half the price, 300 Egyptian pounds. If you purchase 3+ tickets, you get a 15% off.
While it is surprisingly affordable (kudos for thinking about all those bootstrapped bleeding startups) for a promising rich event, your ROI really depends on how much you can extract from it. So make sure you carry enough business cards and get ready for some small talk, you never know who you will end up meeting!
As I said, the program seems super rich and diversified, centered around HX (Human Experience). Here are the top things to look forward to.
Tracks and Content
- Creative: “How creatives can take the lead in designing solutions to improve the human experience (Design, Fashion, Film, Music, Media, Marketing, Branding).”
- Capital: “Because smart capital is not just about having money in the bank.”
- Technology: “We’re bringing in technical experts to demystify the latest in Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Big Data.”
There are more than 46 announced speakers, both international and regional. Some of the big names attending are Vish Makhijani – CEO of Udacity, Brian Wong – founder & CEO of Kiip, Brian Collins – Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, Eventtus’s May Medhat, a LOT of 500 Startups partners including Sharif El-Badawi, Philip Bahoshy – founder & CEO of MAGNiTT, Hala Fadel – Co-Founder of Leap Ventures, and many more interesting people.
As any major event, this is your chance to connect with lots of interesting and relevant people to your business, RiseUp is planning a batch of networking possibilities, mentorship, investor matchmaking, and a “connect supermarket” that is meant to bring you closer to the community and offer you some perks.
The summit will also include some invite-only, private events.
An investor’s cocktail: “Cocktail event for 200 top investors from the US, Europe, Asia, and MENA, in addition to our 20 HIPOs!”
MENA HIPO’S 20×20 dinner: “A dinner where MENA’s 20 high potential startups meet our 20 top speakers and experts.”
The speakers and experts dinner: “Dinner in one of Cairo’s hot-spots for speakers, main partners, and industry experts.
RiseUp will be hosting some startup-specific experiences.
Pitch competition: 50 of MENA’s best startups will be pitching for 5 minutes each, competing to win prizes (cash, trips to startup hubs, a chance to scale to Dubai, and more). The competition is split into 2 stages: pre-seed (raised less than USD 50K) and post-seed.
Startup station: A chance for your startup to exhibit for 1 day only (to get maximum visibility). There will be 150 MENA startups showcasing for a price of 3,500 Egyptian pounds (~200 USD). Sadly, the applications are already closed.
Workshops: 20 interactive workshops, some are 101s and generic while there will be deep dives covering topics to help you scale.
Satellite and Launchpad!
2 initiatives that will take place a little bit independently from the rest of the program.
Satellite events give the community control to host its own panels, which is a cool experiment to witness, especially in an Arab world where everything tends to go a bit chaotic :).
Wamda’s Launchpad will be the go-to stage to hear exclusive announcements made out of the event, can be anything from a funding round, to launches, M&As or anything major happening in the ecosystem.
Chill and Enjoy
RiseUp made sure you also get a chance to play hard, there would be F&B startups fueling you on the go, rooms in the coworking space if you want to catch your breath, and parties hosting MENA’s most talented, startup-supportive artists with some promising visuals.
And that would cover basically what RiseUP is all about this year, book your tickets and see you there!