The program grants startups access to resources and opportunities aiming to empower their businesses and help them expand in their markets.
RiseUp Summit, the leading event for MENA region entrepreneurs, has partnered with Algebra Ventures, the region’s leading venture capital fund, to bring together the 20 most promising startups from five MENA countries to the heart of Downtown Cairo from 1-3 December for the annual RiseUp MENA HIPOs (HIgh POtential) program by RiseUp. The program grants startups access to unique resources, tools and opportunities aiming to empower their businesses and help them expand in their markets. The chosen HIPOs come from all around the MENA region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt – HIPOs that have collectively attracted funding of $159 million.
“RiseUp has connected MENA startups with resources since 2013. But regional success stories have been sporadic and fragmented. The question we’re always asked by investors and global players is “who should we be excited about in the region?” Now we’re answering this by bringing the region’s most promising businesses together in our HIPO Program. This is MENA’s potential in a nutshell. These are the people leading the companies of today and tomorrow, and on their way to becoming UNICAMELs” said Dalia Kamar, RiseUp Summit Manager.
The United Arab Emirates boasts the top six startups with the most funding amongst the 20 HIPOs, including disruptive solution providers Fetchr, Bayzat and ReserveOut. Also joining are innovative e-commerce platforms Bulk Whiz, The Luxury Closet and Mumzworld.
Emerging startups from Lebanon include music platform Anghami, which now boasts 57 million users, in addition to scriptr.io, the IoT application development platform. Joining from Jordan are Kharabeesh, a platform targeting digital creators, and Liwwa, the trade and asset finance provider.
The lion’s share of HIPOs this year, however, comes from Egypt; with eight startups making the cut, including Elves, which acts as a personal virtual assistant, Crowd Analyzer, the first social media sentiment analysis tool in Arabic, Avelabs, the developer of next-generation automotive software, and Si-Ware Systems, a global semiconductor innovator. These HIPOs are joined by healthcare platform Vezeeta, bug detection service Instabug, food discovery platform ElMenus and event management platform Eventtus.
“Algebra Ventures is delighted to Partner with Rise up Summit this year to introduce the new High Potential (HIPO) program. HIPOs are remarkably unique companies that are set apart by their operational traction, ability to attract capital and exceptional innovation.” Said Tarek Assaad, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures. “We believe that HIPOs will lead the way in the rapid development of the MENA entrepreneurship ecosystem. We are excited to witness, and as VC investor’s support, the growth and success of these companies in the years to come.”
HIPOs can access the extensive RiseUp network of distinguished experts, lawyers, mentors and media, in addition to showcasing their services at the HIPOs exhibition at the RiseUp Summit 2017 and sharing their stories on the summit stage with 5,000 attendees.
HIPOs will also receive education opportunities at world-class universities and education platforms, such as Udacity and IE, alongside a number of special sub-events, including the invite-only MENA HIPOs Dinner hosted by Algebra Ventures, and the MENA HIPOs Breakfast hosted by STRIPE.
“We devote special attention to the power of networking; meeting the right people could work wonders for an emerging startup. That’s why HIPOs will get to mingle and exchange ideas with legendary icons from the global entrepreneurial ecosystem, including 500 Startups and Wamda Capital and many more,” said Kamar.
Last year, more than 4,700 people attended RiseUp Summit, the majority of whom were entrepreneurs.