The second edition of the Vested Summit will kick off from 9 to 11 November with the participation of high-level international experts along with several local and regional entrepreneurs who will enrich the summit’s discussions, said founder of Vested Summit, Salma Al-Hariri.
“This year, we expect 1,500 participants. I am sure we will have a quantum leap through the high-level international experts including National Geographic’s Jason Silva, World Economic Forum Global Shaper Basima Abdulrahman, and MIT Robotics and AI professor Nikolaos Mavridis,” Al-Hariri mentioned.
Vested Summit 2019 is hosting companies from all over the world, including US, Brazil, Singapore, Africa, and others, she said, noting, “we’ve chosen 30 companies out of our 750 company-database to have close meetings with international investors to discuss collaboration opportunities.”
Daily News Egypt interviewed Al-Hariri to know more about the second edition of Vested Summit and its role in boosting entrepreneurs in addition to identifying her opinion about the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt and her recommendation to further enhance it.
How did you start Vested Summit? What’s your vision and plan for the Egyptian market?
We started our business in 2017 after a business trip to San Francisco, US, where an accelerator that focuses on the Middle East region offered the opportunity for some regional entrepreneurs to visit Silicon Valley, meet and train with some of the greatest entrepreneurship supporters including Facebook, Google, and other large companies.
Silicon Valley’s ecosystem is vital and supports entrepreneurs. I had the idea to create an event in Egypt hosting both the giant entrepreneurs and the regional small entrepreneurs to provide the same opportunity of expertise exchange here in Egypt through the Vested Summit.
We pay great attention to the startups’ innovative solutions for the economic and social issues through technology and artificial intelligence. I believe that entrepreneurs can change the Middle East’s position on the international map as they create job opportunities and boost the countries’ economic situation.
Can you please elaborate on this year’s Vested Summit?
We launched a video-based platform that allows investors all over the world to visit Vested Summit online and identify the opportunities of collaboration with entrepreneurs. Last year, we hosted about 500 entrepreneurs and chose 20 companies to have meetings with international investors, some of the companies already succeeded in obtaining investments and remarkably developed.
How many participants will engage in Vested Summit this year? What issues will be addressed?
This year, we expect 1,500 participants. I am sure we will have a quantum leap through high level international experts, including National Geographic’s Jason Silva, World Economic Forum Global Shaper Basima Abdulrahman, and MIT Robotics and AI professor Nikolaos Mavridis.
We are also hosting companies from all over the world, including US, Brazil, Singapore, Africa and others. We’ve chosen 30 companies out of our 750 company-database to have close meetings with the international investors to discuss collaboration opportunities. Nationalities of the startups are diversified including Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, and others.
This year we focus on artificial intelligence, awareness technology, block chain, digital fabrication, clean tech, and voice tech.
How do you assess Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem?
Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is developing very fast compared to the last five years. The number of the new entrepreneurs is increasing remarkably. I think that the support given by the international donors to this sector in Egypt is also increasing.
What are your recommendations to further help startups to grow?
I believe that boosting the entrepreneurship sector needs a number of regulative reforms to be implemented. Foundation and liquidation of startup companies should be an easy process to encourage youth to have their own businesses without fears of legal questioning if the company has to announce its
I recommend the government to set a new law for entrepreneurship separated from the Investment Law to adapt to the new and fast development of the entrepreneurship sector. The new law should make it easy to found and liquidate a company, employ people and end their contracts after liquidation without facing any problems.
What does this sector need from the government to help entrepreneurs?
I think that the government should pay greater attention to the young innovators who can be small entrepreneurs one day. It’s not okay for the government to say that they support entrepreneurs and believe in them, while it has not yet improved the eco-system to encourage more young people to have their own projects. The government should invest in the young and creative people.
Several foreign countries recognise our talented Egyptian entrepreneurs and adopt their projects. The Egyptian government has to create a more attractive system that makes the creative youth prefer to stay in their country and develop their ideas here.
I think that the government should provide the innovative youth with moral, physical, and technical support and encourage them to implement their ideas here in Egypt, rather than outside the country.
Fear of failure is the biggest challenge hindering many young people to start their own businesses, how do you think they can overcome their fears? Can you also tell us some success stories of young entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs need to be active and always develop their ideas to succeed. There is a difference between the fear that pushes you to make your best and the morbid fear that makes you stay in your place without take any risk. There is a popular quote I believe in; “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.” Fear of failure is important to push you to take the steps necessary to achieve your dreams.
Many people have good ideas, but only successful entrepreneur takes real steps to achieve his idea through setting corner stones and creating a team.