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9 Crazy Cool Things To Do at RiseUp 2016

It's one week to the Middle East's biggest entrepreneurial summit, and we've rounded up the nine quirkiest, snazziest, and loudest gigs you can join at the trailblazing event.

It's all fun and games this year at RiseUp. And creativity. Lots. Because if you thought playing an instrument or being an artist had nothing to do with the business world, this twister of an event will prove you wrong. The entrepreneurial scene's most active, relentless, and boldest team has cooked up an endless list of gigs. And here, the nine most outside-the-box:

Startup Band

Replicating last year’s smashing concerts – which included a hit finale with Autostrad on stage – the summit is bring the Startup Band to the main stage once again, where musicians, singers, and composers can form a new band, compete, and perform live – all in 72 hours. The winner, aside from the thrilling experience of jamming with multiple talents across genres, gets to go home with a $1,000 prize. You can sign up here and you can also attend one of the 10 stunning musical gigs set to take place at the startup event.

The competition that last year brought Jordan's Autostrad for their grand finale is re-taking RiseUp's main stage.  

Avant-Garde Runway

In line with the summit’s focus on the creative economy, RiseUp16 will bring together six fashion designers to showcase their work in a snazzy Avant-Garde Runway that will push them to the edge by creating outfits through random teams and limited materials. Fashionistas and creatives can apply here and become one of the most creative teams in Cairo.

Uber Pitch N’ Ride

After glamming up last year’s RiseUp with the limousines where 10 entrepreneurs got in to pitch to investors during the ride, Uber is bringing their Pitch N’ Ride back to the event – this year, in classy vintage cars touring around Tahrir Square. Applications are open until the 4th of December.

At RiseUp 15, entrepreneurs got to pitch in limousines. This edition, the stakes are higher as they get in fancy vintage cars.  

Swag Bag Treasure Hunt

Starting off with a goodie map, this unique game will challenge users to go through a restless journey collecting stamps, exploring the different corners of the summit, and meeting with speakers and partners in a quirky networking experience that will bring back your inner child.   

Orcas' Kids Corner

Last year, we all suffered cuteness overload when Jumptsuite’s Nabil Rostom got on stage with his daughter at the summit’s Get in the Ring competition. But let’s face it, when it’s a 24-hour marathon of panels, workshops, and speeches, taking your children along can be challenging. This year, newly re-launched babysitting platform Orcas is offering a free Kids Corner, and they will be taking care of children between the ages of three and 10 with plenty of games, arts and crafts, and fun.  

Egyptian entrepreneur Nabil Rostom calls his little daughter on stage at RiseUp 2015. This year, she has her own spot to play, too.

100/100 hits Cairo

The exhibition making waves from Tokyo to Berlin, 100/100 is hitting Cairo at the RiseUp Summit as they launch the first designers’ network in the Middle East. The initiative, a non-profit thriving to stimulate creativity through visual language, is pushing all graphic designers to showcase their talents through Arabic-written posters from which 100 will be selected and exhibited at the event.

DJ sets and artists

Cairo's DJs are going perform and keep entrepreneurs groovy while they pitch and network. The lineup will feature some of Egypt’s most diverse artists, including Zuli, Rozma, Ritza, and Panstarrs, along with a batch of arabesque musicians such as Nadah el-Shazly and Hisham Kharma. There will be a DJ set every night, including 1127, DJ Scallob, and the ever-buzzing Horrible DJs.

Every day, a set of DJs – including Zuly – will close the event for a sassy night.

Mashrou3 al Mareekh Open Mic Session

Startups are taking the stage; investors are dominating it. Why can’t we all get a microphone and say what we want? That’s why Mashrou3 al Mareekh joined the summit this year. This crazy dream team, which aims to empower humans through self-expression, is bringing their mic to host open mic sessions where anyone can have five minutes in the spotlight with no judgement, no censorship, no hierarchy.

RiseUp Capital

Remember the swag hunt? Using crowdfunding money you will raise during the treasure hunt, the summit gives an interesting spin-off to the concept of crowdfunding, allowing investors and participants to get engaged with startups in an interactive crowdfunding game called the RiseUp Capital.

Find out more on the RiseUp Summit, kicking off on December 9th, on the website and Facebook page

Photography by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.