TechWadi Fellowship Program

About TechWadi:

TechWadi is the leading non-profit organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the MENA region to support the growth and rapid expansion of high-tech entrepreneurship. We are uniquely positioned to provide Silicon Valley innovation and expertise to our partners holding the knowledge and reach of MENA’s leading entrepreneurs. TechWadi is scaling the appetite, ability, and readiness of the region’s top high-tech entrepreneurs to establish a world-class, globally recognized startup ecosystem.

Program Overview:

The TechWadi Fellowship Program aims at empowering, connecting, and supporting the next generation of leaders in the Middle East by providing them with a two week long program in Silicon Valley that includes tailored technical training’s, talks, company visits, and mentor-ship delivered by inspirational experts in their respective fields. The skills taught during the various technical training’s of the program, along with a chance to build connections to major companies in Silicon Valley, will help the entrepreneurs build strong networks for the long term.

The key skills and trainings that each entrepreneur receives includes, but are not limited to:

  • Business Development: Series of workshops and training’s on how to reach your clients and customers more effectively. Workshops and training’s are designed with business executives from the top companies within the Techwadi network including Google and Facebook.
  • Marketing: Series of workshops and training’s with masters of marketing, advertising, social media and communications who help entrepreneurs brand and market their products to regional and global markets more effectively.
  • Developing a Successful Funding Strategy: Workshops to learn how to develop a funding strategy appropriate for your startup, including when to raise funds, how much to raise, and from whom. These workshops will cover how to increase the pre-money valuation of your company and identify relevant milestones. Finally, learn alternative funding sources, selecting and gaining access to the right investor and the dos and don’ts of each round of fund.
  • Product Design: Series of workshops and training’s on how to more effectively design and pivot your product to better meet the needs of customers and be more user friendly.
  • Transferring Existing Business from Overseas to the US: These workshops are designed to guide you through the steps of transferring your business in the U.S. We will discuss the legal process of transferring your business to the U.S. We will cover legal and non-legal implications that you need to be aware of, such as employment, immigration and tax issues.

The program provides these companies with coaching, mentor-ship, and positioning for funding. A dedicated team of coaches provides consulting services to the companies on all aspects of growth including business development and customer outreach, and help them quickly integrate in Silicon Valley. Coaches regularly check in on companies during the program to make sure they are achieving their milestones and support them by making introductions to relevant constituencies of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Techwadi also works with a wide range of mentors from Silicon Valley to design and deliver content that is needed and relevant to the entrepreneurs that go through the program and give them essential skills and training in key areas that will strengthen their start-ups ability to grow. The program’s mentors include the TechWadi members, some of the most successful and experienced entrepreneurs in the Bay Area, who are committed to giving their time and sharing their expertise with participating companies. Mentor-ship will take place in one-on-one settings as well as through small weekly dinners. Some of the mentors could become lifelong advisers to the companies. TechWadi helps companies position themselves to become relevant to SV investors, and introduce them to corporations, angel investors, and VC firms to secure financing. Companies looking specifically to raise money from Silicon Valley will be given the opportunity to present to top investors at TechWadi events, as well as to other partners during their “demo days”. The program in Silicon Valley will also include tours and visits to top companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, 500Startups, UBER, LinkedIn, Apple, Visa and/or others (upon availability). Through mentorship and exchange, participants will get the opportunity to advance their companies and careers and as a result inspire others in their respective home communities. After this 2-week program, fellows would be given access to TechWadi’s network to initiate partnerships, mentorship and investments, along with a toolkit to successfully grow their business. Google Cloud credits will also be given to selected fellows.

Selection Process:

  • Startup’s Criteria:
    • Stage: Be a promising, growth-oriented, young company which has had some funding already raised
    • Revenue: Must be a revenue generating startup with market validation
    • Scalability: Must be a startup ready to scale in MENA and beyond
  • Fellow’s Criteria:
    • Founding member with MENA background
    • Willing to travel to the US for two weeks (San Francisco, California)
    • Willing to secure the US Visa with supporting documents from TechWadi
  • Dates: September 9th-20th
  • Costs: program fees and local transportation covered by Techwadi. Must be able to cover flight and accommodation