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Annual Report 2018

Message from TechWadi’s Chairman

In 2018, we hit a key turning point as a community. Connectivity between the entrepreneurial movement in the Middle East and the Bay Area is stronger than ever and the Middle East and North Africa has seen an unprecedented number of startups launching and getting funded. The governments and private sector are increasingly engaging in transformation and knowledge transfer initiatives and expanding their networks through visits to the US and Silicon Valley, often sponsoring delegations of young entrepreneurs seeking to soak up the tales and techniques at the base of where it all started.

Our organization continues to evolve as we adapt to the needs of the community, continuously moving forward in our mission of creating meaningful links between the people and companies driving the trends of tomorrow, and we’re proud of the work we do to catalyze a stronger ecosystem. TechWadi welcomes anyone that shares our vision for a prosperous Middle Eastern technology community in the Bay Area, the Middle East and the world.

The Bay Area's entrepreneurship and technology startup culture has become prevalent across emerging markets, with 2018 marking record deals and venture capital funding in the Middle East and North Africa. While we continue to face restrictions on immigration and an increasingly volatile political climate in the US, talented founders and their teams across the Arab world are creating companies to solve local, regional and global problems that oftentimes have tremendous impact on the long tail of society. In this context, it is crucial for TechWadi to continue to be a change agent, a convener of people across the US and the Middle East and North Africa and a source of support for entrepreneurs in the US and emerging economies.

Last year, TechWadi embarked on several high-impact programs with entrepreneurs, mentors and investors in Silicon Valley and throughout the Middle East that touched the lives of so many entrepreneurs. From hosting delegations of startups in Silicon Valley sponsored by INJAZ Egypt to participating in GITEX in Dubai, we have brought together key players from both worlds closer together. We continue to partner with organizations on the ground across the region, working with the private and public sectors to further drive entrepreneurship and develop the ecosystem at all levels. The Arab world is undoubtedly moving forward and transforming with technology, entrepreneurship and innovation at the core of this change.

The TechWadi team, volunteers and broader community, empower hundreds of entrepreneurs, through providing mentorship, training, connections, accelerated coaching programs and experiential programs. Much of the work we do is on a voluntary basis and as a non-profit, we rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to carry out our mission. A special thank you to the members of our community who have offered their time and resources to make this possible. TechWadi is your organization.

In 2019, let us continue working together towards growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa, and supporting the TechWadi community in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Yours truly,
Sharif El-Badawi
Chairman, TechWadi

sharif el badawi

Our Mission

TechWadi is the leading non-profit (501c3) organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the MENA region. Over the past decade, TechWadi has evolved from a small community of top Arab American technology professionals in Silicon Valley into a powerful platform for collaboration–with members and events spanning the world.

In Silicon Valley, TechWadi brings together technology movers and shakers through conferences, networking events, workshops, sprint acceleration programs and mentorship. In the MENA region, TechWadi works with leading regional and international organizations to help build a sustainable infrastructure and empower high impact entrepreneurs to both thrive and succeed.

In 2019, TechWadi will continue to work towards these goals with the help and backing of many friends: a strong Board of Directors, a supportive Board of Advisors, a dedicated team of volunteers, a powerful network of Charter Members and key partners that share our bold vision. Leveraging our deep roots in Silicon Valley, the world’s entrepreneurship capital, we are confident we can contribute to the Arab world’s ecosystem in an exceptional way.

Our Model

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2018 Accomplishments

Testimonials

"The TechWadi Silicon Valley Program has been, undoubtedly, a core introductory step for me into the startups community in Silicon Valley and across the US. You finally realize that speaking with mentors from Google, Linkedin and Facebook is no longer a dream. My highlight of the program was the feeling of empowerment; if you need a connection, an introduction, an investor, a helping hand, a guiding mental counselor or a friend, you will find one through the TechWadi network. It is simply priceless. Another advantage was the access to a great amount of information and case studies, getting inspired by how others made it through while envisioning means to carve your own path. To date, I still owe a lot of the success we reached at Ship'nbag to the network formulated through TechWadi. So, if you're a startup based in the MENA region and you wish to turn your aspirations into tangible on-ground actions, TechWadi is the perfect destination to do just that."

"The 21st century will be defined by the economic impact of digital technologies on business and wider society and its critical that MENA be a part of this story. TechWadi’s mission of building bridges between Silicon Valley and MENA is an important piece of this puzzle and it’s a privilege to support this goal and help empower the ecosystem. Volunteering with the TechWadi network to help entrepreneurs think through things like monetization, building the right culture, and product market fit is extremely fulfilling and something I would encourage everyone to be a part of."

"TechWadi is a great learning experience for both mentors and mentees. Both inspire each other and it’s great to always meet people that truly want to help make MENA a better place. It truly is where Silicon Valley minds meets MENA minds and well deserving of its name Techwadi."

"I came to TechWadi as part of the Egyptian group partaking in Injaz’s Meet Silicon Valley Program. The people were friendly, helpful and supportive, the program was very well organised, and everyone exceeded expectations. What I liked the most about the program is how they treat people as individuals and cater to our individual needs accordingly. I remember having a client I was working with and I needed to meet someone from IDEO. The TechWadi team (Tasneem in particular) reached out to the people at IDEO in Palo Alto, and we went on a company visit there. When the group left, I still had some questions so TechWadi connected me to the IDEO team in San Francisco, who I met, and they helped me a lot with my work. I wasn’t treated as a client, but rather as a friend as well. I’m very impressed with the whole experience and I’m happy I got to meet the team, who have helped me significantly with my business."

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Our Events

In Silicon Valley

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In the Middle East & North Africa

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Who We Work With

Sponsors

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Our Team

Executive Team

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Board of Directors

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Board of Advisors

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Support the TechWadi Community

TechWadi is first and foremost a community by and for you, the TechWadi members. The work we do to support entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and to build the tech ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa is only possible with your engagement and support.