ContactCars Launches Arabic iPhone App For Egyptian Car Market

| Sep 30, 2010 | comment Leave a comment

ContactCars, the Egyptian portal that provides news and car specs and prices in for the Egyptian market has gone on and launched an Arabic iPhone app for their service, aiming to make it easier for users to access the information they provide while on the go.

The application, just like the site itself, provides a variety of information about cars available in the Egyptian market, with the goal of providing the information a user needs to be able to choose the best car that suits his budget and needs.

It offers the possibility of checking the latest car prices and their features from the various car models out in the market, with photos of each car and its specifications, as well as a list of similar cars the user might be interested in. Cars can be browsed and searched through either by model or price.

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GoNabit Goes Live In Another Arab City With Deal In Beirut

| Sep 29, 2010 | comment Leave a comment

GoNabitGoNabit, the online group-buying platform, that was launched for the region from Dubai earlier this year, has officially launched its first deal in Beirut Lebanon, marking its expansion into the third Arab city for it, after Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Just like in other cities, GoNabit will be featuring deals that people can sign-up to receive and buy if they’re interested, within a limited timeframe, with the deal only taking place once a minimum number of buyers commit to buying.

The first deal in Beirut is one for women, a 61% discount on a blow dry, manicure, and pedicure at the Fadia El Mendelek Salon in Beirut.

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Startup Pitch Session At MENA ICT Forum Organized By Microsoft And Oasis 500

| Sep 28, 2010 | comment Leave a comment

MENA ICT ForumMicrosoft Jordan and Oasis 500 will be organizing a Startup Pitch session during the MENA ICT Forum that is being held in Amman, Jordan on October 10th, 2010.

During the Startup Pitch Session, around seven of the top Jordanian startups will present their ideas to Corporate Vice President of Evangelism at Microsoft, Mr. Walid Abu-Hadba.

Abu-Hadba is responsible for Microsoft programs for Startups and Local Software Economy world-wide, in addition to Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy.

Ms. Rula Ammuri, Country Manager of Microsoft Jordan says that this session comes to show Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Startups in Jordan, helping them build connections with the company and grow their businesses.

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Khamsat: A Service To Buy And Sell Anything For Five Dollars

| Sep 28, 2010 | comment 4 Comments

KhamsatKhamsat is a new service that takes another go at E-Commerce in the region; the site can be simply described as a marketplace for small services or goods provided at the low fixed price of five US dollars. In other words, it’s pretty much like an online 5 dollar store.

Sellers can login to the site and start adding services or products that they are willing to provider or sell for $5, as well as how much time it would take them to provide them.

The offers are listed under categories and tagged to make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for. When a buyer views a certain offer, they also are able to see other offers from the same seller, as well as other offers of the same kind. Offers can also be rated, and when browsing listed by freshness, rating or popularity.

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YallaWain: A New Kuwaiti Social Dining Out Service

| Sep 23, 2010 | comment 1 Comment

YallaWainYallaWain is a new social networking service that was launched in Kuwait, and that revolves around the experience of dining out; helping people pick what places to go to and what to have.

The service describes itself as a new way for people to mix and tip-off each other about the finest restaurants and top dishes in Kuwait; which sums it up quite nicely.

Basically, the site is built around user reviews and ratings of the different restaurants and eateries in the country, their ratings of the different dishes those places serve on their menus, and tips they leave for other fellow diners.

The service also integrates a social aspect that enables users to follow their friends and contacts on the service, in order to get a more personal touch and receive their different tips and reviews, as well as what restaurants are their favorite ones.

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YallaStartup Weekend – November 12-14 @ Berytech, Beirut

| Sep 22, 2010 | comment 3 Comments

YallaStartup Weekend

A number of you must’ve already heard about the StartupWeekend event concept, which has taken place in 54 cities in the US and around the world, with Oman being the first Arab country to host a couple such events recently.

YallaStartup plan to bring the concept to Beirut (Lebanon) too on on the weekend of November 12-14 at Berytech.

The weekend is a hands-on event that encourages out of the box creative thinking and startup creation. The idea is very simple: participants join on the first day of the weekend with a group of highly motivated developers, product, marketing, graphic and business people all mixed together. They team up, decide on an idea, code and deliver a prototype at the end of the weekend.

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MENA ICT Forum 2010: 30 Tickets To Be Sponsored By Oasis 500

| Sep 17, 2010 | comment Leave a comment

MENA ICT ForumThe MENA ICT Forum 2010 taking place in Amman, Jordan on October 10-11, 2010; which we previously announced here, is building up to be quite the event; but there’s been one little problem for entrepreneurs, and that’s the high attendance price, with tickets costing US$1000 for Int@j members and US$1500 for non-members.

Oasis 500, the new ICT seed capital fund that was launched from Jordan, as an initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses, though they’d lend a hand in getting entrepreneurs to attend the forum.

Oasis 500 will be sponsoring 30 free passes for entrepreneurs, so that they can get to spend two days with regional and global ICT leaders and key decision makers. These free passes are available through a video competition titled “Why should I be invited to attend the MENA ICT Forum?”

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Don’t sell me features!

| Sep 2, 2010 | comment 1 Comment

I want to emphasize the importance of selling benefits, not features. Every business owner, marketing professional, or sales person needs to realize that their customers buy benefits, not features (although features can influence their purchasing decision and would act as the Reason To Believe or commonly known as RTB in the advertising lexicon).

To understand what I mean, go to an electronics store, to the computer section specifically, and observe the laundry list of specifications they put next to each laptop displayed. It’s strange that although the laptop is a device for the masses, store owners still show a whole list of features and technical specs that only an experienced person or a computer engineer can understand. It is only when you translate these list of features into benefits that you are able to understand what they mean and consequently more likely to purchase the products.

Think of your advertising campaigns. Are you selling features or the benefits?
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Positiveness of uncertainty

| Sep 1, 2010 | comment 2 Comments

It’s common to worry when we think of the future. It is like our brains, for self-protection purposes, are naturally preconditioned to consider all the negative things surrounding uncertainty. This does not only create doubt, stress and negative energy but it can also prohibit us from moving forward and taking actions.

However, it is possible to turn this around. How about starting to think of the positive things that could happen to you eventually, the infinite possible positive scenarios that the future will bring, how about associating uncertainty with positiveness. I am not recommending you jump foolishly in the unknown without doing a pros/cons analysis, all I recommend is to flip your mindset about uncertainty and anticipate pleasant and successful outcomes. It’s a thought process that you can control and influence.

This mindset shift about uncertainty has been personally very beneficial. It keeps me positively curious about what will happen next in my business, wondering what new thing will each day bring me. It is pretty much the same excitement of receiving a surprise gift. It keeps me moving forward.

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Euro-Mediterranean School 2010 Open For Entrepreneurs’ Applications

| Aug 31, 2010 | comment 8 Comments

The Euro-Mediterranean School (EMS), which is an initiative that aims to offer young entrepreneurs from the Euromed countries an opportunity to follow a learning program in the field of business management and entrepreneurship, has opened up applications for the fifth “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course taking place this year.

EMS was founded by the Milan Chamber of Commerce, the Lombardy Region, and the Fondazione per la Sussidiarietà (‘Foundation for Subsidiarity’). These sponsoring bodies offer full scholarships to all participants covering travel costs, room and board, tuition fee and teaching materials for the entire duration of the course.

In 2010 EMS will host the fifth edition of the course “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”, in which the Chambers of Commerce of Naples and Reggio Calabria will also participate.The sponsoring bodies offer full scholarships to all participants, covering travel costs, room and board and teaching materials for the duration of the course.

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