Tunisian Delegation at the RiseUp Summit in Cairo
This past week, the Cogite Coworking Space team travelled to Egypt to attend the RiseUp Summit 2015, hosted at the Greek Campus in downtown Cairo. The top entrepreneurship event in the Middle East and North Africa, RiseUp gathered thousands of participants from around the world, including the best start-ups of the region, high profile investors, and incredible speakers from the entrepreneurship world. Cogite was proud to lead the Tunisian delegation—which included the Digital Mania video games studio, the Lyoum fashion startup, the Boost equity-based accelerator, the social TV startup Pinhole, food delivery business Monresto.tn, Startact incubator, Expenses report solution Expensya, and Mazam, an agency specializing in event creation and project management—as we joined together to further introduce Tunisian entrepreneurship to the region and to the world.
The vibrant energy of RiseUp left us convinced that entrepreneurship in the region is getting bigger and bigger by the day. An action-packed event, RiseUp covered all aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation and business-building through an array of workshops, talks, fireside chats and other special activities. Moreover, youth are clearly looking to build a brighter future in their own countries and they see entrepreneurship as exactly the way to do it.
And it is not just local actors that see hope for the region. Attracting some of the hottest names from Silicon Valley, entrepreneurship stars such as Dave McClure (500 Startups), Mike Butcher (TechCrunch), and Jared Friedman (Y Combinator) came all the way to Cairo to meet and learn more about the regional startup scene. The summit also featured some of the biggest business actors in the MENA, including a keynote address by Ali Faramawy of Microsoft and keypanels featuring tech giants such as Ahmed El Alfi (Sawari Ventures/Flat6Labs), Sherif AlBadawi (Facebook), Jambu Palaniappan (Uber), and Ashraf Zeitoon (Facebook), to name a few.
Putting Tunisia on the Map
Tunisian entrepreneurs have made great strides in the past five years and RiseUp was the perfect place to tell people about it. Though Tunisia is a small country, the Tunisian delegation attracted significant attention from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship actors in the region.
During the “Meet the Ecosystems” event, Cogite Cofounder and CEO Houssem Aoudi presented alongside Lyoum’s Sofiane Ben Chaabane about both the challenges and the promise of the Tunisian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Cogite also joined other Tunisian startups to staff a Tunisia booth, whose diverse representatives showcased the true diversity of Tunisia’s entrepreneurship success stories. In these various roles, Cogite was incredibly proud to share Tunisia’s recent successes with RiseUp attendees and to raise the regional and international profile of the Tunisian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
After an inspiring, sleepless weekend in Cairo, we returned to Tunis full of new ideas of where next to take entrepreneurship in Tunisia. We can’t wait to get started!