Abu Dhabi, U.A.E
In partnership with the Ministry of Economy, the 3rd Annual Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium organized by startAD and VentureSouq saw local and global experts come together to discuss Global vs. Local Investing Perspectives in the context of creating a robust and flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE.
The symposium specifically sought to provide education on key topics related to Angel Investing, in order to demystify investments in start-ups and persuade investors to power the entrepreneurial landscape in the UAE.
Lending his support to the initiative, H.E. Eng. Sultan Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the SME Council, said “The UAE government has made innovation the core of its economic advancement and the road to knowledge economy. Today, the UAE has the best investment environment in the region and one of the best globally because of its cutting-edge infrastructure, ITC, strong governmental support for all economic sectors and an outstanding partnership with the private sector. Furthermore, international investors have been highly successful in setting up their companies in UAE to serve the entire region and many of them have become global companies exporting and providing services to 98 countries around the world from their UAE based companies.”
“According to H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, the UAE has a highly attractive and advanced investment environment for international investors and entrepreneurs, especially in technology, industry and innovation due to its competitive economy and legislations.”
Anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, startAD is committed to helping build the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE. “Angel investors play a crucial role in providing the platform for the early stage entrepreneurs to de-risk their ventures, as they cross the “valley of death”. Our goal is to bring the “state of the art” processes and tools to help build a world class community of Angels in the UAE through our Angel Rising Symposium,” said Ramesh Jagannathan, vice provost for Entrepreneurship Development at NYU Abu Dhabi and managing director of startAD.
“The growing number of participants at Angel Rising over the past 3 years is a testament to the increasing appetite for angel investing in the region. The symposium offers a comprehensive investor education platform to support investors in their journey. We will continue to strive to build, cultivate and educate a regional community of like-minded individuals who have an interest in investing in startups,” commented Sonia Weymuller, Partner at VentureSouq.
Sabah Al Binali, private investor, former CIO of SHUAA Capital, Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the UAE to the USA, Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager, Sheraa – Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, Omar Christidis – CEO & Founder, ArabNet, Sharif El-Badawi, Partner, 500 Startups, Owen Davis – Managing Director NYC Seed, Jeff Lynn, Co-Founder and CEO, Seedrs, Vikas Shah, Visiting Prof of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management and and Naeem Zamindar, Pakistan Country Director and CEO, Acumen.
startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship platform offering a full stack entrepreneurial experience for the global startup community. Anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, startAD supports the entrepreneurship ecosystem through education initiatives and the creation of startups. startAD has two components: a forum, which is an educational platform that catalyzes individuals and teams with a defined process and tools to develop a scalable, repeatable and efficient venture; and programs which synergize local and global startups with major UAE corporations, granting opportunities for shared insights and business viability testing.
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 110 nations and speak over 100 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.
VentureSouq (VSQ) is a UAE-based early stage equity funding platform that strives to democratize capital allocation by enabling individuals to invest into sustainable enterprise. To date, VSQ has organically grown into a network of over 700 angels across the GCC and has funded 20 rounds into 14 companies both regionally and internationally. This investment pillar is complemented by an educational one – VSQ has developed its own proprietary angel investing curriculum that it delivers across the region alongside its institutional partners. VSQ’s goal is to create a new class of informed angel investors that will serve as a viable funding source to startups and small businesses regionally and internationally.