By Nina Curley
In the second panel at our June event CoE E-Commerce, Show Me The Money, Part 2: Investing in E-Commerce, Chris Schroeder an Endeavor network member, who has previously served as CEO at HealthCentral and Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, discusses the investment opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa, explaining that the region doesn’t need to look necessarily to models from the West.
“The debate about what’s going to be the next hub of innovation, in places like MENA, the next Silicon Valley… is also irrelevant overall because I think what we’re seeing is networks of hubs of innovation and product development with huge ramifications for the kinds of things that we will be looking at as investors,” he says.
Panelist Pamir Gelenbe, Venture Partner at Hummingbird Ventures, who is originally Turkish, discusses how he returned after growing up in the UK to invest in Turkey, how he prefers the energy in Turkey to that in the UK, and how he came to invest in Jordan-based flash sales site MarkaVIP.
When it comes to finding good entrepreneurs in MENA, says Gelenbe, “It’s the same as everywhere else- we look for integrity, fast execution, we look for people who have a world view and understand best practice from everywhere, and typically we look for people who have had a few failures as well.”