Sep 23,2012

The term “entrepreneur” is not often associated with Saudi Arabia, but that is rapidly changing.  What was planned as a closed doors visit for the “Prince Salman Young Entrepreneur Award” delegation to Silicon Valley, triggered unprecedented response and quickly evolved into a full scale event at brand new incubator NestGSV.  Just under 100 people showed up for a glimpse of the future of tech entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.  They got more than they asked for with a deep dive into the future of mobile commerce led by two accomplished TechWadi leaders based in Silicon Valley.

Hesham Shawki, Senior Business Leader of Global Remote Payments at Visa, kicked things off with a dive into high-potential intrapreneurship by discussing Visa’s plans for leveraging mobile commerce in rapidly growing BRIC markets.

Next, Sarah Karam, Partnerships Manager at exciting Silicon Valley startup,  ShopKick, took the floor.   She gave an absorbing look into ShopKick’s system bridging the gap between the mobile world and retail world, and how partnerships with leading retailers like Target, Macy’s, and American Outfitters has been key to their growth strategy.

An engaging tour of the new NestGSV campus wrapped up a day of discovery, and the delegation of Saudi entrepreneurs left all excited about opportunities ahead:

“Our visit to Silicon Valley, was an eye-opening opportunity for us. We found ourselves full of ideas, hope and energy to get back and implement what we have seen here in our country.

We are keen to build a bridge with the US companies and entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge and help both parties in scaling businesses across the countries”

– Mazen AlDarrab, Saudi Arabian Entrepreneur

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