startAD seeks to empower local angel investors and strengthen foundation for entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE

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The 4th edition of the Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium will host more than 200 industry and community leaders

Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium

Abu Dhabi: Organized by startAD and VentureSouq, the Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium returns to NYU Abu Dhabi for its 4th edition on Saturday, March 24. More than 200 industry and community leaders in Abu Dhabi will convene for the event and discuss methods to empower new angel investors, as well as strengthen the potential of Angel Investment in creating a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE.

This year’s symposium explores the theme of ‘Investing in MENA – Finding MENA’s Competitive Edge on the Global Stage’ and brings together renowned local and global experts including Partner at AngelList Jake Zeller; Cofounder & CEO at BitOasis Ola Doudin; Executive Director at Consensys Lina Hediah; Founder and CEO at Hackers/Founders Jonathan Nelson;  Managing Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East Aby Thomas; Founder of Glambox and Managing Partner at Iliad Partners Christos Mastoras; and CEO and Founder at ArabNet Omar Christidis.

The panels this year will explore critical topics of interest to local investors, such as the “Local Vision: How do Regional Investors See Deals Differently?”, “Investing in Venture & Crypto: Is One Replacing the Other?” and “Getting Liquid: Choosing Investments that will Exit.”

The symposium will also feature a demonstration with CEO of Classpass and Angel Investor Fritz Lanman, who will provide insight into recommended strategies for investing across the technology spectrum. Following the demonstration will be a roundup, in which UAE tech startups that are actively seeking angel investment will pitch their ventures and investors and audience members attending the session will get the chance to engage with them and ask questions.  This event will help aspiring angel investors identify the key questions and areas to focus on when evaluating an early stage technology startup.

Catalyzed by recent significant and high-profile government initiatives in the technology sector, local investors across the GCC have been encouraged to explore venture investing. Local investors, at both the individual and institutional levels, have access to capital and offer significant strategic value, particularly to regional companies. The Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium pushes the investor community to think about the industry in terms of the sectors and business models that are most attractive, the structure of investments, how diligence is done and how decisions must be made.

Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship Development at NYU Abu Dhabi and Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan, commented: “Angel Rising 2018 focuses on ‘Investing in MENA –Finding MENA’s Competitive Edge on the Global Stage’, convening global and local thought leaders taking a deep-dive into the investment landscape. This marquee event is shaping up to be a key pillar of our overall strategy to catalyze the UAE startup ecosystem. UAE Angel investment strategies are adapting and evolving with global sensibilities to accommodate the diverse digital economies of the 21st Century. At startAD, we are committed to leading the way in the re-definition of the regional Angel investment space.”

Partner at VentureSouq Tammer Qaddumi, said: “The past 12 months have proven to all of us just how dynamic the new economy is. New technology is upending market share pecking orders that have existed for decades, and a whole new class of stakeholders are taking the upside. Participating means investing – money, time or expertise. And that needs to be done in a smart, informed way. Angel Rising has emerged into a high-impact and hard-hitting event that assembles some of the best venture investors in the world and extracts from them what makes them jump out of their seats, and what keeps them up at night. This year features the deepest crop of partners & speakers that the event has ever had.”

The symposium intends to elevate a new class of Angel Investors by providing education on key topics related to Angel Investing, demystify the startup investing landscape, facilitate conversation among community and industry leaders, and ultimately enable and inspire more investors to fuel greater innovation in the UAE.

About startAD:

startAD is an innovation and entrepreneurship platform that supports early stage startups in the UAE.  startAD is a partnership between NYUAD and Tamkeen, an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company and seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE by offering core programs and entrepreneurship initiatives. Available exclusively to nationals and residents of the UAE, these programs enable the development of technology startups in emerging local industries of strategic importance to the UAE such as energy, aviation, logistics, fintech, smart transportation and facilitate investment in local-based startups.

Selected startups that display outstanding potential and promise may also benefit from ADvance mentoring and seed funding from startAD to help scale their businesses. 

About Tamkeen:

Tamkeen is an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company that delivers projects to meet the Government of Abu Dhabi’s vision of knowledge-based development. This is achieved by collaborating with a variety of local and international institutions to enrich the Emirate’s social, cultural and educational landscape in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

About NYU Abu Dhabi:

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

About VentureSouq:

VentureSouq (VSQ) is a GCC-based venture investing platform that strives to democratize capital by enabling individuals to invest into high-growth technology companies globally. To date, VSQ has an investor network of over 1,000 angels & institutions across the GCC, and has made over 30 investments. VSQ also develops rich educational content around venture investing, and delivers this content through a number of programs throughout the region. VSQ’s goal is to create a new class of informed angel investors that will serve as a viable funding source for emerging companies regionally and internationally.