Monday September 25th, 2023
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Cairo Business Park Hosts 4th Edition of Startups Without Borders

Misr Italia Properties' Cairo Business Park is playing host to the fourth edition of Valentina Primo's Startups Without Borders Summit.

Startup Scene

There are many figures that come to mind when we talk about an ‘entrepreneur on the move’. They could be someone who simply moves to another country as a migrant and has taken a chance on a new business, or a refugee who has escaped a war torn nation yet strives to make the most of the opportunities that life presents them. Over the past five years, Startups Without Borders (SWB) has been offering their support to ensure these entrepreneurs can penetrate the invisible barriers of bias and discrimination that often stand in their way, and help them launch their businesses in Europe and the MENA region,  no matter where they may have come from.

Among the platform’s multitude of services is an annual conference that brings together startup founders and top leading international investors from around the world. What started as a small event in Cairo has grown into a flagship annual summit held in stages across Rome, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. This year promises to be bigger and more inspiring than ever thanks to a unique partnership with Misr Italia Properties (MIP).

Egyptian real estate developers Misr Italia Properties has engaged in a continued commitment to nurturing Egypt’s entrepreneurial community, a commitment they have channeled into their flagship project, Cairo Business Park. Hoping to transform it into an inspiring community hub for entrepreneurs, Cairo Business Park has partnered with the likes of Creative Industry Summit to serve as their official sponsor and host, and RiseUp Summit to establish the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub within the park. Through this new partnership with SWB, MIP aspires to once again elevate Cairo Business Park as a destination for cooperation and growth by becoming the host of the 4th edition of the Startups Without Borders Summit.

“Being hosts to the 4th edition of Startups Without Borders reaffirms MIP’s dedication towards developing a hub for organizations that enables consistent and tangible support to entrepreneurs through creating experiences that allow industry players to unleash their potential,” Sherif Saleh, Co-CEO of Misr Italia Properties, tells StartupScene. “We worked to develop a model that is set to become the beating heart of entrepreneurship in New Cairo reinforcing sustainable growth, and fostering an innovative business environment that offers a range of top-notch smart solutions.”

Since its founding in 2018, SWB has managed to train over 3,800 entrepreneurs in MENA and Europe, as well as gather a community of 12,000 entrepreneurs through its numerous networking and entrepreneurship events.

“Over the past five years, we've taken on a mission to build a transnational ecosystem for entrepreneurs, no matter where they come from,” Valentina Primo, Founder and CEO of Startups Without Borders, tells StartupScene. “We aim to build a startup ecosystem where refugees, migrants, and local entrepreneurs can thrive, driven by the strong belief that talent doesn't have a passport.”

With the summit to be hosted at Cairo Business Park, the gathering will be able to hold over 3,000 attendees, along with entrepreneurs from 60 different countries, as well as leading international VCs, incubators, and accelerators. The move aligns with Cairo Business Park's strategy of empowering youth and fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We couldn’t be happier about this partnership, a living proof of our common effort to build a supportive ecosystem where founders of different origin, nationalities and cultures can achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions and thrive,” Primo says.

CREATING IMPACT

From organizing pitch competitions, incubation programs, to networking events and annual summits, SWB not only connects entrepreneurs with resources to launch and grow their startups, but also sheds light on the growing entrepreneurial trend amongst refugees and migrants.

This was particularly evident during the pandemic with the platform’s hybrid summits, encouraging entrepreneurs to grow their digital footprint and build their brand presence online. But after two years of running hybrid summits, SWB is looking forward to the summit being held in-person once again.

“For the past five years, we have gone from city to city in the MENA region and Europe on a mission to build a transnational ecosystem for entrepreneurs, no matter where they come from,” says Primo. “We continued to do so virtually during the pandemic, and now we couldn’t be more excited to gather in person again in Cairo, bringing startup delegations from unexpected places such as the Gaza strip and Baghdad and investors from all corners of the world, from Italy to Bangladesh."

This year’s summit, themed ‘Go Borderless’, will feature speakers from the tech and startup space in the US, Europe, and the Middle East including Hashim Syed, Product Lead at Google EMEA, Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Regional Manager of Techstars MENA, and Tey El-Rjula, blockchain entrepreneur and author of ‘The Invisible Son’. The summit will also witness the participation of Sven Spannekrebs, the former swimming coach of celebrated Syrian champion Yusra Mardini and the Refugee Olympic Team during the 2016 Rio Olympics, whose story inspired the hit Netflix film ‘The Swimmers’.

And because nothing fuels innovation better than competition, this year’s summit will also include two international startup competitions: the Startup World Cup with a $1 Million prize and the Italian startup competition, We Make Future, in which finalists get to pitch at the global finals in Rimini, Italy.