About Start MENA Up

As the subheader implies, the blog’s immediate mission is to introduce a wider audience to inspiring stories of entrepreneurship from the Middle East. If that can gain enough traction, then the long-term dream is to develop into an organization that can actually support those stories in a way that goes beyond just blog posts.

After my undergraduate studies, I spent a year working in Palestine. While there, I had the privilege of connecting with a blossoming Ramallah-based ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, and startup junkies. Those folks and their stories of resilience and hope sparked my own passion for entrepreneurship, a passion that has guided my career moves to date. 

The two basic hypotheses behind StartMENAUp are 1) that others will find those same stories as interesting and inspiring as I have, and 2) that similar stories exist across the Middle East and diaspora.

To start out, I’ll share the stories mainly in the form of interviews with key characters, profile pieces of various organizations (startups, VCs, etc), and conference reviews. I’d also love to get some guest contributors involved to write about their own stories or publish advice for aspiring entrepreneurs themselves. 

If you have recommendations of people or organizations for me to cover, or would like to contribute something yourself, please get in touch!

Thank you

Hani

hani@startmenaup.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hani-azzam-90b5764b/

Latest post…

Hisham Kassim, Managing Partner at Kassim Legal

Hisham Kassim plays that role in MENA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. As the Managing Partner of Kassim Legal, he runs one of the region’s only (perhaps the only) boutique corporate firms focused on startups, Venture Capital, and Private Equity. As we chatted, his vast knowledge and network in the region were readily apparent. We covered his background, and that of Kassim Legal (spoiler alert: it’s a family firm), but also discussed the similarities and differences in legal structures and approaches between the U.S. and MENA region. I even managed to pry some legal advice for the region’s early stage founders out of him. I’m joking, of course, about the prying part at least. Hisham also donates his time and expertise freely as part of his desire to contribute to a stronger startup community in the region. 

هشام قاسم – الشريك الإداري لشركة قاسم القانونية

يلعب هشام قاسم هذا الدور في النظام البيئي الريادي لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، بصفته الشريك الإداري لشركة قاسم القانونية، يدير واحدة من شركات البوتيك أي المتخصصة وربما الوحيدة في المنطقة التي تركز على الشركات الناشئة ورأس المال الاستثماري وحقوق ملكية الأسهم الخاصة حيث بينما كنا نتحدث، كانت معرفته الواسعة وشبكته في المنطقة واضحة جدا.

ميس و هاني، مؤسسين، يلا نحكي

وقد قامت “يلا نحكي” التي أطلقت في عام 2017، بالعمل على التطرق للمواضيع والسرديات التي غالبا ما تترك دون أن يمسها مجتمع الجاليات العربية في الشتات، وزيادة تأثيرأصوات الشباب العرب الذين يعيشون خارج منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، فعند القيام بتصفح سريع لموقعهم الإلكتروني، ستجدون محتوى رقمي يتراوح بين وصمة الصحة النفسية في المجتمع العربي، والهوية الجنسية في الشتات، وصولا للموارد اللازمة لدعم الأصوات الفلسطينية، فقد وجدت YLT مجتمعا مستعدا للاستماع والمساهمة في هذه المحادثات، من خلال ما يقرب من 70،000 متابع على Instagram.