Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Upcoming February 13: Catalyst Highlights Middle East Entrepreneurs

Posted by Nathan Schor - February 11, 2014

Coming up on February 13, Progress in Technology Middle East (PITME) has organized Catalyst -- a San Francisco conference that highlights startup investment opportunities in the Middle East.

Israel has a well-known startup community but elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), entrepreneurs are working hard to create innovative businesses that have the potential to create jobs and contribute economic stability.  Peace through entrepreneurship is a key goal.

Nima Adelkhani, who co-founded the program, says, "Being an entrepreneur is hard anywhere, but it is even harder if you are based in the Middle East. There is a real disconnect between the community there and the rest of the world due to cultural, ethnic, political and logistical hurdles."

Salma El Hariry, Egyptian female co-founder believes: "that the rise of the startup scene in the Middle East over the last 5 years to solve social and economic problems that inefficient government have failed to tackle is the Real Arab Spring Revolution."      

The organization is connecting MENA companies with Silicon Valley resources and helping them connect with investors. The upcoming Catalyst conference is focused on showing how this region has the potential to become an economic powerhouse despite the sometimes troubling headlines. 

The event includes several panels around the theme of connecting Silicon Valley to the Middle East, along with teams showcasing their talent. Besides delivering access to education, the conference is designed to forge the other tool every founder needs to succeed -- a powerful network.

As a lead up to the February 13 event, PITME, in partnership with Stanford University's Peace Innovation Lab, hosted a hackathon

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