I hosted a podcast on the startup ecosystem in the Middle East, and interviewed some well-known startup founders and others in the region. I had to stop after six episodes, as it was not my full-time job (I was also running my own startup at the time), and because there wasn’t enough interest in the project.
I have since taken down the podcast, but you can still download all the released episodes below:
- Abdulaziz Al Jouf: Abdulaziz is a seasoned entrepreneur, mostly known for his current company PayTabs. PayTabs is an online payment company, that is backed by Saudi Aramco’s Wa’ed ventures, and has raised around $27M to date, making them one of the top funded startups in the Middle East.
- John Kilmartin: John is the Executive Director of the ICT Division at the Bahrain Economic Development Board. He is responsible for promoting Bahrain as a regional hub to global technology companies, and supporting the startup ecosystem in Bahrain.
- Yasin Aboudaoud: Yasin is a Hong Kong born entrepreneur who has been in the global trading business for over 12 years, mainly through his family business, Ecico Group. He is currently between the GCC, Hong Kong and China as the COO of Brinc, an IoT accelerator headquartered in Hong Kong. Brinc recently opened its Middle East branch in Bahrain, and rapidly became an important part of the startup ecosystem.
- Trey Goede: Trey is the Head of Portfolio Management for Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, a $200M venture fund launched by Saudi Aramco. Being a long-time entrepreneur himself that started numerous startups, and raised millions of dollars in funding, he had a lot of interesting stories to tell.
- Alisée de Tonnac: Alisée is the CEO and co-founder of Seedstars World, operating the biggest startup competition in emerging markets, present in over 80 cities around the world. Alisée was among the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2017 in the Social Entrepreneurship category, and was nominated as an Innovation Fellow by Wired UK.
- Yazin Alirhayim: Yazin is one of the smartest guys I’ve met in the region. He started White Payments in 2014, after realizing that there were no easy solutions for startups to accept online payments, and White Payments got acquired by PayFort about a year later. His most recent startup, Verify, is a reputation protocol on blockchain, providing protection to both sides of a sale involving cryptocurrencies.