Bader Hosts Presella Achievers to Discuss Silicon Valley Experience

Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program is in partnership with Bank Audi.

 

On Wednesday April 2nd, Bader Lebanon hosted the startup achievers behind Presella to talk about their Silicon Valley experience, after they took part in the PITME 40-day mentorship program for MENA startups. Startups and entrepreneurs gathered over drinks at Coworking+961, and listened to Walid Singer and Louay El Kadri share their stories.

 

Louay explained that every entrepreneur has to go to Silicon Valley at least once in their life in order to experience the energy and speed at which people operate over there, how collaborative they are and how much they network and pitch. Louay stressed this fact as an essential point for Lebanese entrepreneurs: “Collaborate better and open up your networks to make introductions.”

 

As for Walid, he was candid about the difficulties that Lebanese entrepreneurs might face once in Silicon Valley. According to him, every start-up founder should visit Silicon Valley, however they must bear in mind it’s super expensive. He explained that going alone without planning is very risky and can cost a lot money and a lot of time. He advised that the best way to go there is via an incubator, accelerator or a job offer. If these are not available, entrepreneurs should go after thorough preparation and research, with focus on finding target contacts by approaching them on LinkedIn and setting up meetings.

 

On another note, Walid shared how much he enjoyed the extremely friendly ecosystem, saying “the scene is alive with events and gatherings. Talent goes to Silicon Valley because the best companies in the world are there; as for the companies, they go there because it is the biggest talent pool in the world”. Walid added that the best way for Lebanese Entrepreneurs to get investment from Silicon Valley is to be based in the Valley itself; and to focus both on developing their business as well as to find investors from the area. The second option is to meet angel investors while there and pitch relentlessly to them.

 

In a message to tech or design-oriented Lebanese entrepreneurs, Walid Singer remarked that the Valley is the best place to sharpen these skills and to bring back “super powers”. “Awesome and cool start-ups are always on the lookout for talent, and these entrepreneurs should gain experience in Silicon Valley then come to the Middle East to use that experience.” He concludes that “the things learned in the Valley can do magic when implemented here in the region”.

 

Finally, the co-founders of Presella concluded with: “Best part is, you learn that you can do it, that it’s feasible even though the level of competition is high”. Walid’s experience allowed him to compare startup pitches in both Beirut and Silicon Valley, and he can now safely say that entrepreneurs from Lebanon and the Middle East have equal potential as their counterparts in the US.

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