Did You Miss Us? We Missed You Too

Last Tuesday Haider and I had the pleasure of attending the Step Conference in Dubai. It was an opportunity to refuel our information database, expand our startup community network, polish our communication skills, and take a more in-depth look into the startup community in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.

It goes without saying that the conference itself was filled with valuable workshops, promising accelerator program graduates showcasing their startups, mentoring sessions, an investment pitch competition, and inspiring talks from people like Dave McClure – founder of 500 Startups and Fadi Ghandour – founder of Aramex.

A valuable lesson that I took away from this event—one I will always have inscribed in the back of my mind, can be summarized in a few words: “Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones”. The main premise here is that you should always focus on coming up with a solution rather than stressing over the problem.

I recently ended a volunteer vacation in Florianopolis —the Silicon Valley of Brazil, where I taught children about human rights, civic duties, leadership, and all about the entrepreneurial world. Those seven weeks I spent with the children grounded me and gave me a revitalized perspective on the importance of promoting economic development through entrepreneurship and in turn infusing the entrepreneurial spirit within all of us. 

As an effort to revive and inspire that entrepreneurial spirit within you, I highly recommend attending this month’s Startup Grind event, where we’ll be hosting the serial entrepreneur and creator of THE 99 comics series –Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa.  

On another note, Mona has updated the office hours she’ll be available during this week. Use the Sirdab Lab app to view them and to book her for a mentoring hour. 

Ahmad Al-Obaid
Hustling & Thinking Officer