Tweepi, A Set Of Tools To Help Manage Your Twitter Account

| Aug 5, 2009 | comment 2 Comments

TweepiTweepi is another project that has popped up from the Arab world to cater to the ever-growing group of Twitter users around the world, presenting a set of simple tools to help users manage their following and followers lists.

The site has started off with four different tools:

Geeky Follow: This tool helps you find users who share the same interests as you and whom you might be interested in following. The way it works is that it asks for the handle of a Twitter user that you like, and it goes and gets a list of people who follow that user too, with their details, so you can see who of them you’d like to follow too.

Geeky Flush: This is for the more sensitive Twitter users who don’t like it when they follow someone and they don’t follow them back. So this tool simply enables you to unfollow people who aren’t following you back.

Geeky Reciprocate: This is the flip side to the previous tool, allowing users to find users who are following them but that they’re not following back, so that they can start following them quickly.

Geeky Cleanup: This tool enables you to go through the list of users you are following to identify users you might want to unfollow, like spammers, inactive users or the likes.

Tweepi screenshot

The tools come with Preset Target filters that help you filter the list of users to better identify the users you want to follow or unfollow, depending on the tool. They also show you a number of different indicators for each user like how many tweets they’ve sent within the last week, how many RTs they’ve gotten, how many replies and RTs they’ve sent themselves, …etc. It’s possible to customize and choose which of these indicators are shown as columns in the result set.

The site uses oAuth to link with your Twitter account and be able to perform the different actions it needs to do following your choices on the system.

Tweepi was built by ThoughtPick from Jordan, and is still in its beta version.

UAE Tweets, A Twitter Lens On The UAE

| Aug 4, 2009 | comment 2 Comments

UAE TweetsAmong the Arab countries, the UAE has to be the top country in Twitter usage so far, with more and more users getting on board every day, it becoming a source for instant information and news about what’s going on in the country, and with several events being organized around and through it.

To make it easier to follow tweets coming from users in the UAE, the team at CloudAppers have gone on and released a new site called UAE Tweets, which is a UAE twitter aggregator.

According to their description: UAE tweets is a twitter lens on the UAE, to provide a quick view of the UAE community pulse, and what’s on their minds at any given moment.

For their tweets to be aggregated on UAE Tweets, all UAE Twitter users have to do is follow the user @UAETweets on Twitter. It currently displays that it is following 391 UAE Twitter users and indexing their tweets.

An important feature is that the top 10 trending topics being discussed by Twitter users in the UAE are listed, and by clicking on any of them lead to the search results showing what is being said about these topics by UAE users. The service’s built in search engine also enables searching for other terms and topics being mentioned by UAE users.

UAE Tweets

Other than the users’ tweets, UAE Tweets also provides sections with the latest links being shared by users, as well as the most popular of those links.

The site’s design is really nice and simplistic, following the same design patterns as the Twitter interface, and making it straightforward to use.

UAE Tweets is still a work in progress according to CloudAppers’ founder Baher Al Hakim (@DrBaher).

What do Arab startups need the most? [Poll Results]

| Aug 4, 2009 | comment Leave a comment

In the latest poll on StartUpArabia, the question to the readers was:

What do Arab startups need the most?

The result of reader voting came out as follows:

What do Arab startups need the most?

Out of 230 readers who responded to the poll:

- 30% of them believe there is a need for more original ideas
- 28% say funding is the most needed thing for these startups
17% think Arab startups are in need of mentoring
- 12% believe there is a need for strong complimentary teams at these startups
- 8% think marketing is what Arab startups need more of

The remaining 5% listed some other very interesting and true needs for Arab startups; among them are: business freedom from govermental interference, market research skills, ability to set up a truely limited liability company, more social media interaction, available data and statistics, unregulated non-paternalistic markets, and good execution.

Another really interesting thing the results of this poll show is that even though it’s often easy to blame the lack of funding or support for the lack of successes in the internet space in the Arab world; not all of the important things Arab startups need are external factors, there is a lot they can work on and solve themselves like picking and working on more original ideas, putting together stronger complimentary teams, buffing up their business and market research skills, reaching out more to the community …etc.

Of course, the external factors like mentoring, funding, government support are also very important and should go in parallel to help startups on their way to perfecting their product and building a successful business around it.

What do you think? What’s your view of things?

D1G Announces Closing Of Its First Round Of Financing

| Aug 3, 2009 | comment Leave a comment

D1GD1G just announced its closing of a first round of financing; that will go towards funding the site, its expansion and its infrastructure on the Internet.

According to the press release issued by the company, this first round has attracted a number of regional businessmen and international experts in the internet industry to join the site’s management.

Commenting on this round, Abdul-Majid Qasem, D1G Executive Director, said that the first round of investment was able to attract the necessary funding for the next phase, and that the amount raised would help the company improve its products and services to achieve the board of directors’ vision and aspirations.

He also noted that the next round of strategic investment negotiations with some of the leading capital and private equity firms in the region is currently ongoing.

D1G was founded in May 2006, and according to the numbers released by the company have been able to build a community of more than 3 million people per month over the past years, generating more than 20 million impressions and over 15 million online monthly videos. They also claim to have grown 100% in number of users during the first half of 2009 alone.

D1G’s growth has been both organic and through acquisitions, and it seems they’ll be sticking to the same approach for growth in the future.

Just a couple of months ago, D1G announced that Usama Fayyad, Ex- Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President at Yahoo!, had been appointed Executive Chairman of D1G to help develop the company and take it into its next stage of growth. He was already on their board of directors since September 2008.

D1G also announced that prominent Jordanian business man and investor Karim Kawar will become an Active Advisor on the company’s board of directors. Karim Kawar, who had previously served as Jordan’s Ambassador to the US, is currently advising a number of regional capital and technology companies.

Mo3jam, A User Generated Dictionary Of Colloquial Arabic

| Aug 2, 2009 | comment 6 Comments

Mo3jamMo3jam is a new interesting service which aims to build a user generated dictionary of colloquial Arabic. (Mo3jam is an Arabic word that means lexicon or dictionary.)

The idea of the website is that users from all around the Arab world will be able to come in and share the different spoken terms and expressions used in the various accents and dialects available in all the Arab countries.

Mo3jam hopes to create a central, multilingual knowledgebase of colloquial Arabic, emphasising ease of use and breadth; with the service open to anyone to contribute without any limitations.

Terms can be defined using Arabic (which is the preferred language), English, or French. And even if a term is already defined in the system, users can still their own definition for it, with the best quality definitions bubbling up to the top through users voting on them and adding them to their favorites.

Most major dialects of Arabic are currently listed, but the list is not a fixed one. The system was designed to have multiple levels of dialects and sub-dialects. So suggestions for adding dialects or sub-dialects can be made to the site’s founder.


Registration to the site is not mandatory to start using it or adding terms, although users who want to can either use the regular site registration or login using Facebook Connect.

The site is nicely designed, simple and usable; and is currently available in both Arabic and English.

Mo3jam was created by Abdullah Arif who is from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but currently living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

ShooFeeTV Goes On And Launches Its TV Channel

| Jul 30, 2009 | comment Leave a comment

ShooFeeTVShooFeeTV has gone on as planned and launched its own television channel, which will air an around-the-clock scrolling guide of programs from more than 150 of the most popular satellite channels on the ArabSat and NileSat platforms.

Clips and trailers for upcoming shows and movies will also be aired on the channel, through segments like its ShooFee Aflam, ShooFee 7elo and ShooFee Riyada.

The channel will also broadcast original content developed by ShooFeeTV, where hosts discuss entertainment news.

ShooFeeTV also has plans to integrate some of the features from their portal into the TV channel, such as discussion boards and comment threads for individual shows.

The TV channel has been a project ShooFeeTV has been pursuing and preparing for from the beginning as another platform to provide their service and information to viewers, as well as drive more people to their portal.

The new ShooFeeTV channel is being broadcast via the Arabsat Badr-4 satellite.

Tamakkan! Initiative to Support Young Emirati Entrepreneurs

| Jul 27, 2009 | comment 2 Comments

BrandMoxieTamakkan!, an initiative aimed at supporting young Emirati entrepreneurs who need industry insight to achieve their business dreams, has been launched by BrandMoxie, a UAE based marketing firm.

BrandMoxie has set up Tamakkan! to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship and provide an informal environment for the development of knowledge sharing and the spirit of mentorship for the benefit of young Emiratis.

Sana Bagersh, the CEO of BrandMoxie explained, “the idea is that through Tamakkan! industry professionals would be able to give back to the country, and the community, by helping to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. We hope to create a vibrant monthly platform of discussion, in the form of a free two hour seminar, open to those young entrepreneurs who want to attend an informative session presented by a professional, or expert, on a key topic in business.”

Bagersh explained that Tamakkan! would aim to provide high calibre seminars given by practicing professionals. The focus would be on the transfer of practical skills and information. “These would include short seminars on marketing such as branding, positioning, merchandising, franchising etc, and business topics such as the fundamentals of how to set up a business.”

Tamakkan! is intended to facilitate contributions by the business sector, and welcomes the participation of companies and individuals who can lend their support by giving their time or assistance in kind.

BrandMoxie won the Tamayyuz Award in June for its commitment to young students, offering them practical experience and professional guidance. Bagersh explained, “what has encouraged us to do more is our surprise at the high calibre of work performed by university interns. These students are very good; they have built up the skills and are passionate at what they do, but they lack the ‘street smarts’ and the understanding of the broad work context. And this is only something they can pick up through experience and professional guidance.”

Bagersh believes that Tamakkan! would support fresh graduates with entrepreneurship dreams by providing them exposure to knowledge from industry practitioners.

Seedcamp Week 2009 – Applications Now Open

| Jul 23, 2009 | comment Leave a comment

SeedcampSeedcamp Week is an intensive week-long event held in London every September and is targeted at young entrepreneurs from across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Applications are submitted online and based on these, a judging committee will select up to 20 teams to participate in the event.

The focus of this week is around providing an incredible experience for the 20 selected teams. There is a diverse mentor network of serial entrepreneurs, corporates, product designers, venture capitalists, recruiters, marketing specialists, lawyers and accountants that help the selected teams put together the foundations of a viable business.

The aim of this week is to collapse the time it takes startups to make and develop these critical relationships from months to a week and establish an unrivaled foundation on which the business can be built.

At the end of the week the funding decision will be made to invest up to €50K each in 5 teams for a small equity stake (5%-10%). (Sometimes, more than 5 teams are selected.)

The funding amount is purposely kept low enough that teams do not have to give away a large portion of their companies. The idea is to take enough money to develop a great product and build towards a higher valuation. As such preferred stock, board rights, or other rights often required by institutional investors are not asked for.

The three months following Seedcamp Week and the investment, is when the winning teams with the Seedcamp team begin building the product and company together.

The provided funding covers the teams’ move to London for at least three months, in which they are also provided access to services worth 2-3 times the invested €50K. The goal of this 3-month period is to help grow and nurture the teams by providing the same level of intensity and in-depth focus on developing the product and business.

During the course of the three months, the groups will have an opportunity to take advantage of the same ecosystem of experts which participated in the Seedcamp event through weekly dinners, topical lunches, conferences, and continued mentorship on various issues from scaling the business to raising further funding to M&A. Additionally, during the three months, assistance will be provided with all the paperworkto set up a company properly.

Six weeks into the project, a Demo Day is held where teams can show their products to the other groups from Seedcamp and a select group of investors. And eleven weeks into the project, an Investor Day is held where startups can present to potential investors.

For those interesting in knowing more about Seedcamp, check out the Seedcamp website; and those who want to apply can use this Seedcamp application form.

From the Arab region, Content Syndicate participated in Seedcamp Week 2007 and was nominated as one of the top 10 startups out of 260 participating startups from 40 countries.

Watwet Opens Up Their Platform Through Public API

| Jul 22, 2009 | comment Leave a comment

WatwetWatwet, the Arab social networking and micro-blogging platform, has gone on and taken another big step forward by releasing a public API covering the different methods and functionalities of the service.

Methods covered include ones to get user and friend timelines, search, follow and unfollow users, retrieve lists of followers and friends, and of course send updates, among others.

This means that developers can now easily integrate the different Watwet functionalities into other web, mobile and desktop applications.

The full documentation for the Watwet API is available at


This comes not long after them providing users the possibility to link their Watwet and Twitter accounts, in a way that anything posted to Watwet gets automatically posted to Twitter and vice versa.

On another note, Watwet also went ahead and changed its interface moving to a simple “following/follower” model, instead of the previous “friendship” model that was based on reciprocal agreement from two people to become friends.

Blue Ocean Strategy Seminar – July 27th ’09 – Amman (Jordan)

| Jul 15, 2009 | comment 2 Comments

The Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship announced a new event, the Blue Ocean Strategy Seminar, which will be held in the Le Meridien hotel, Amman (Jordan) on July 27th 2009 from 5-7 PM.

Blue Ocean Strategy, for those who haven’t read the great book (by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne), is about how to take your business into new expanding, competitor-free markets “Blue Oceans”, which are unlike “red oceans,” which are well explored and crowded with competitors. “Blue oceans” represent untapped market space and the opportunity for highly profitable growth.

It is about following a strategy of value innovation, focusing on utility, price, and cost positions, to create and capture new demand and to focus on the big picture, not the numbers.

The seminar is made for CEOs, COOs, directors, managing directors, general managers, marketing managers, business development managers, innovation leaders, and entrepreneurs.

The speaker will be Mohammad Ajlouni, one of the few certified Blue Ocean Strategy practitioners.

The seminar is free, and anyone interested can sign up using the form here: Blue Ocean Strategy Public Seminar Registration form.

A full 2-day paid workshop will be following on August 10-11th 2009. Details are available here.

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