Tuesday December 12th, 2023
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5 Cool Things Happening This Weekend at Alexandria’s Techne Summit

Kicking off for the second time at Alexandria's Library this Saturday, the Techne Summit brings some wicked activities for techies and entrepreneurs.

Staff Writer

Entrepreneurs, dreamers, and visionaries are in for a roller coaster of a weekend in Alexandria, as the Techne Summit is taking off on Saturday the 7th, bringing local entrepreneurial drive together with global mentors, and investors of the likes of Seedstars, Superhero Capital, and Abraaj Group.

Set to take place at the Alexandria Library, the two-day conference will feature a promising list of panelists, including German strategist and author Mark Turrell, nominated as a tech pioneer by The World Economic Forum, as well as experts from Intel, Google, and the Next Silicon Valley.

With topics ranging from women in tech to media and the Internet of things, the conference will focus on the intersections between technology and business, exploring areas such as the future of cinema and gaming. Turrell will explore 10 areas of tech and their implications for business and society, while Brandtone’s CEO Donald Fitzmaurice will discuss how to survive along the digital roller coaster. But, between expert panels and group discussions, we spotted five extremely cool activities for startup founders, business strategists, and would-be entrepreneurs alike.

1. Pitching in a horse-drawn carriage. This is probably one of the coolest pitching events we’ve ever seen. After their trademark Pitch n’ Ride events, Uber is now launching the #‎uber7antoor, a series of horse carriages striding across the streets of Alexandria, where young entrepreneurs will have the unique opportunity to pitch to investors in an iconic setting. It couldn't get more authentic.

2. Fifteen-minute dates. The summit will also allow entrepreneurs and attendees to book a date for 15 minutes with one of the mentors, ranging from globally successful founders to leading regional industry experts, to share bits and pieces of advice. Even before the date, aspiring changemakers can also pour their hearts out through the ´letter to an investor´initiative, by writing a message that will be out in a special session where investors will respond on the spot.

3. Global competitions. Perhaps the most promising part of the conference, there are one million dollars in competition prizes. Seedstars, the world’s leading accelerator for emerging markets, will select 10 startups in Alexandria to pitch in front of an investment panel, while Aramex will host a competition for e-commerce startups, awarding three winners with mentorship, free shipments, and a free shop and ship service.

4. Extremely young, inspiring stories. This is definitely a hook for us. Panelists at the summit will not only include senior experts, but also inspiring, incredibly young entrepreneurs from across the globe – a topic particularly relevant in a country where entrepreneurs are implausibly young. The changemakers sharing their experiences at the panels include a 20-year-old Argentine inventor who created a device capable of recognising letters and translating them into braille for the blind, as well as Alain Nteff, the 23-year-old Cameroonian co-founder of an award-winning social business called GiftedMom that develops low-cost technologies to fight child mortality.

5. The first #RiseUpMeetUp. Following up on their mammoth 4,000-people event last year, the RiseUp team is back on track, as they are now organising a series of all-year-round gatherings to offer entrepreneurs resources that range from funds, know-how, and talent, to tools, services, exposure, and marketplace. “Our aim with MeetUps is to help develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem through connecting entrepreneurs, exposing them, and to nurture the growing culture of entrepreneurship in the region,” said Con O’Donnell, RiseUp’s Co-Founder and Business Development Head.

Main photo: Techne Summit 2015.