By Lubna Hamdan / Arabian Business
The speakers for the upcoming Arabian Business StartUp Academy, which will take place on Wednesday December 19 at letswork in Rove Downtown, have been confirmed.
The workshop event, which will focus on bridging the SME funding gap in the GCC, will commence with a keynote speech by Fahim Al Qasimi, partner at corporate advisory and investment firm AQ&P, who will discuss the creation of the next generation of investors by educating them on how to fund GCC start ups.
It will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on the relationship between banks and SMEs, and finding middle ground over lending issues.
The panel will feature experts including Fahim Al Qasimi, an Emirates NBD speaker to be announced, the founder and CEO of The Luxury Closet, Kunal Kapoor and the co-founder and COO of The Tempest, Mashal Waqar.
A discussion will be trailed with a speech by Sage Middle East strategic manager Ibrahim Parwaz on a start up blind spot: managing cash flow.
Following the speech, Sage will giveaway an iPad to one lucky winner among attendees who sign up for a 90-day free trial of the Sage Business Cloud Accounting software, an affordable and VAT compliant solution for start-ups and SMEs.
After, a second panel will see Middle East Venture Partners CEO Walid Hanna, LMTD co-founder and CEO Will Hutson and Wamda Capital managing director Khaled Talhouni discuss the creation of a sustainable funding environment by keeping the dirham in the room.
The speeches and panels will each be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
The most recent academy, which took place in September, discussed social media strategies for start ups and SMEs. It featured Benjamin Ampen, managing director at Twitter MENA and Pakistan; Kamel Al-Asmar, director of community and data at Wamda and founder of Nakhwah; Ghassan Talhouk, head of LinkedIn UAE and Marwan Al Awadhi (DJ Bliss), artist, social media influencer and founder of entertainment firm Bliss Inc.
Previous academies featured prominent UAE lawyer Dr Habib Al Mulla, who made history in 2013 when his local firm Habib Al Mulla became the first local company to merge with an international firm, Baker McKenzie.
Entry to the Arabian Business StartUp Academy - which starts at 8.30am and ends at 12pm - is free for the public but registration is required.
The event serves as a hub for conversation on the region’s latest business opportunities, start-up disruptions, funding deals, legal and regulatory steps to follow and much more.
It features entrepreneurs, established SME leaders, government representatives and well-known investors, and acts as a networking and informative platform for the Middle East’s growing start-up community, offering advice and insights from key industry experts.
The Arabian Business StartUp Academy is sponsored by Virtuzone, Jadarah and Sage Middle East.