When Forbes Middle East published its list of Top 100 Startups in the Arab World we were both excited and proud and that 5 startups from the Berytech community, both alumni and current entrepreneurs, had landed a spot on that list.
Eureeca (#18) a global equity crowdsourcing platform and Step Group (#42) organizer of STEP conference and owner of news and entertainment platforms including stepfeed.com are both alumni of Berytech. Scriptr (#23) an agile IoT application platform, is also an alumni of Berytech and was funded by IM Capital, Berytech Fund 1 and 2.
Loop (#77) is and electric scooter sharing service currently operating from Berytech’s Bechara el Khoury (BDD) Innovation Park and have been funded by Berytech Fund 2. Number 25 on the Forbes list are Falafel Games, strategy game developers, who are also part of Berytech Bechara El Khoury Innovation Park.
So how do you land a spot on Forbes’ Top 100 Startups in the Arab World?
We reached out to the founders and CEOs of these five startups to congratulate them and to ask them about their two cents on what it takes to launch and grow a successful startup and how to land it on a major list like the Forbes Top 100 startups of the year.
Anwar Sukkarie – Loop
Anwar Sukkarie, CEO and founder of Loop, believes that launching a successful startup is a mix of different elements: a progressive idea, opportunity, timing, proper funding, support, professional and effective execution, an excellent team, tenacity and courage, and a bit of good luck for measure.
He also believes that what got them the spot on the list was Forbes’ due diligence, that Berytech was investing in Loop and the fact that green, intelligent transportation is one of Forbes’s current hot topics.
Ray Dargham – Step Feed
Co-founder and CEO of Step Feed, Ray Dargham, thinks it takes a lot of patience, agility, and determination to grow a successful startup.
“A common misconception among startup founders is get into it in order to be ‘entrepreneurs’ which is like saying ‘I want to be rich’. I think startup founders should have a vision and an obsession about a specific problem that they want to solve first, and the rest will follow. It took us about 5 years of focus on building a full-fledged media company before being featured in any media. The fact that now we have multiple media platforms that reach 50+ million people monthly made us qualify to be featured among the top startups in Forbes.”
Vince Ghossoub – Falafel Games
Vince Ghossoub, founder of Falafel Games, suggests that it takes relentless learning to know what makes a startup successful, “Forbes seemed to have pretty straightforward selection criteria. From the investigation they made, I reason that the main factors contributing to successful selection were the degree of uniqueness and the traction gained.”
Chris Thomas – Eureeca
“For a startup to create value, it’s not enough to see a gap in the market and steamroll into developing a solution. You need to understand whether that gap is sufficient enough not to be able to be filled by existing solutions. And not only does your proposition need longevity (a fad is not sustainable as a value proposition), but you need to see your product through your customer’s eyes. Don’t make too many assumptions on what they want,” explains Chris Thomas, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Eureeca.
Chris points out that landing the sport on the Forbes list is due to the nature of Eureeca’s work, “Obtaining licenses and regulation for any Equity Crowdfunding platform is the most challenging milestone, specifically in Emerging Markets. Eureeca however, as of today, is the most regulated Equity Crowdfunding platform on the planet. Eureeca has four licenses to operate in three different continents (Europe, Middle East and South-East Asia), whereas other Equity Crowdfunding platforms have merely one license, and operate in their own market e.g. the UK.”
Tips from Chris Thomas
We’ve compiled the 4 key takeaways for companies looking to raise money to scale up their business that Chris provided in a dedicated post. Check it out here.
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