Feb 4, 2018 On Our Blog

The MENA Ecosystem: The Year Ahead

2017 was a landmark year for the MENA startup ecosystem. That hectic pace of development has continued, even accelerated in the first month of 2018. Having been in the MENA startup space in one form or another since 2007, looking back on what has happened in the past year astonishes me. The rapid pace of development, growth and maturity that took place over the last year is astounding. So, below I wanted to document a few of the main developments I’ve seen from my personal perspective in 2017, which I hope to see continue in 2018. An increasing government focus on entrepreneurship TL;DR – Almost every government across the MENA region has woken up and is actively supporting the startup …


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Apr 7, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Falcons: A Path To The Oasis For MENA’s Thirsty Startups

In December 2015, 500 Startups unveiled 500 Falcons, a regional micro-fund that covers the MENA region (Middle East + North Africa). Even before launching the fund, which has a target size of $30 million, 500 Startups has made “about 30 deals,” said Hasan Haider, 500’s MENA venture partner. As in other emerging ecosystems, few investors in the region have experience with startups, but through engagement and networking, Haider’s working to cultivate a deeper bench of VCs and angels. “One of the things we’re doing with any LPs in the fund is actively looking to syndicate and co-invest with them,” said Haider. “By showing them some deal flow and giving them access to good deals that we’re investing in, we’re hoping that will …


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