All eyes on you, there’s never been a better time to start-up than now

| Jul 18, 2010 | comment 4 Comments

Governments support, communities, talent, funds, role models & case studies, cutting edge software n’ tools, and soon, better broadband & higher Internet penetration, and a great deal of awareness/coverage by media. You’ve got it all.

Take it back to the days when Web meant that big Blue “e” icon. That’s exactly when we read all about the .com boom in the US and all we could think about was if that was real, spending millions of dollars on some Websites?

Continue reading » An Internship Portal For The Arab World

| Jul 11, 2010 | comment 2 Comments is a new service that was launched from Jordan and that aims to be an internship portal / guide for the Arab world, linking companies and interns.

This is made possible through a platform that was built to enable companies to post and promote their available internship opportunities, and on the other hand make it easy for fresh graduates and students to find these opportunities and apply for them as interns.

The goal of the service is of course to try and help youth to find interesting internship opportunities in different companies, in order to start gathering work experience and begin paving their career path. It also helps companies open up their internship positions to a wider group of people enabling them to find and pick better candidates who might go on to become full time team members in the future.

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US Commits $455 Million For Five MENA Startup Investment Funds

| Jul 4, 2010 | comment 4 Comments

OPICThe Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the US government that invests in businesses in emerging markets, has approved a total of $455 million in financing to support the establishment of five private equity investment funds designed to invest in companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), in response to an announcement made by President Obama last year. The five funds combined could potentially catalyze more than $2 billion of investment in the MENA region.

At a speech in Cairo in June 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would launch an investment fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries. OPIC responded last October by issuing a call for proposals to manage a Global Technology and Innovation Fund, intended to catalyze private sector investments that promote technological growth in OPIC-eligible countries Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The five funds approved were among 87 responses to the call.

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Video: Book Trader For Buying And Selling Text Books At DemoCamp Dubai

| Jul 2, 2010 | comment 2 Comments

Book TraderBook Trader is a project that was launched by two students at the American University of Dubai, Alexander Fuchs and Jamal Al Bloushi. It’s a website that allows students to buy and sell their used textbooks, the idea being to enable students to save some money on books and make some money out of their used ones.

The website is only available within the AUD (American University of Dubai) campus for the time being, but the founders hope to be able to expand it to other universities and publicly for all students.

As is the case with other online trading services, students can go onto the site and add the books they have and want to sell, putting in all the details for them and how much they want to sell them for. On the other hand, users can search through the site for books they have to buy for their courses and find what available options exist, what their prices are and pick what they need..

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Monaqasat, An Online Tender Process Management Platform

| Jul 1, 2010 | comment 4 Comments

MonaqasatMonaqasat is an online tendering service that covers all middle eastern markets, and aims to be a central hub for all tendering activities, from sharing of documents to online bidding.

The idea is to enable users to manage their tendering and procurement process in an easy, efficient and secure way; catering to the needs of all types of institutions of all sizes and industries in the Middle East region.

Monaqasat aims at offering a full experience to the institutions using it, by implementing the complete tendering process, allowing its users to create tenders, invite stakeholders, submit and review tender documents, submit their online bids and automatically generate tender reports the instant the tender is completed, all from the confort of their own offices.

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Fear of Sharing Data, an obstacle to integrated start-ups

| Jul 1, 2010 | comment 6 Comments

In the world of Mashed-up data where we get around platforms and devices seamlessly and access data from everywhere do you think we should fear sharing data anymore? Skimming through a great list of start-ups will easily get your attention that our most successful start-ups and entrepreneurs in Arabia are those who could integrate with the analogue world, offline frameworks, and the real world business/individual needs.

One of the projects that caught my attention at the 2nd Democamp in Dubai was Loomni. Apart from the energetic founder’s enthusiasm & positive aggressiveness at the time of presenting, it got my attention to one very important notion, it isn’t a let’s-go-online kind of project and it is connected to our offline life. Despite its poor branding and non-introducing website it is one of those projects that fills a need, a gap, and it serves. Getting over Loomni, you’d often see start-ups in Arabia hanging around those projects that are not connected to the offline world. Or, it’s often a Web Developer’s other hobby gone online if not an Arabized one.

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Video: Twtrtales Collaborative Story Writing Through Tweets At DemoCamp Dubai

| Jun 30, 2010 | comment 2 Comments

twtrtalesTwtrtales is a new project that was launched out of the UAE, which aims to enable collaborative story writing through tweets.

Users would basically get to start a new hashtag for a story, and then they’d start contributing to writing the story one tweet at a time by appending that hashtag. On the site, readers would be able to say whether they like a specific contribution or not, and through that decide what goes into the story and what doesn’t.

So in essence, it’s a new kind of publishing platform that hopes to unite tweeters/writers of all kinds, to create and tell stories, which could be general stories or written for a specific cause.

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Video: Loomni Presents Education Project At DemoCamp Dubai

| Jun 29, 2010 | comment 5 Comments

LoomniLoomni is a new service for the region that aims to empower continuing education, making it more accessible and affordable to everyone. The service was previously reviewed here.

The overall idea of the startup is to fill the existing gap and provide learning opportunities for people who can’t afford expensive courses, nor have the time to spend locked up for long hours in a training venue somewhere.

It aims to do this by providing focused practical courses delivered in 90 minutes, at a fraction of the price available in the market, by working with another profile of instructors, mainly experts on certain fields who can share their knowledge and experience, educating people about their areas of expertise, but also helping market themselves and their services along the way.

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Skype Confirms Plan For Regional Headquarters In Bahrain

| Jun 28, 2010 | comment 3 Comments

SkypeSkype, the internet telephony company has confirmed it will be setting up its Middle East headquarters in Bahraini capital Manama, to better target internet users in the Middle East and Africa.

Skype said Bahrain’s liberal and advanced ICT infrastructure and policies and its geographic position providing unparalleled access to the Gulf’s trillion dollar market were key reasons for establishing a regional office in the kingdom.

Skype, which allows users to make voice and video calls over the internet for free or at a fraction of the usual price, is actually illegal in a number of Gulf countries like the UAE, Kuwait and Oman, to protect telcos’ lucrative monopoly over international calls.

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Video: AdGoing Online Ad Marketplace At DemoCamp Dubai

| Jun 27, 2010 | comment 6 Comments

AdGoingAdGoing is a Saudi based company that bills itself as an online ad marketplace, aiming to make it easy to buy and sell advertising online, giving advertisers and publishers a platform to find each other.

The service supports both banner and text ads, as well as their variations. The system is mainly targeted at smaller publishers and bloggers who want to make money out of their advertising spaces, as well as advertisers who want to tap into the system for cheaper advertising rates and to have their ads go on a variety of sites and blogs.

Ads served up on the system are on a CPC (Cost per click) basis, and the system displays ads on a real time auction basis.

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