Sunday March 3rd, 2024
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ThndrXStartUpSceneRetreat: Celebrating One Year of Thndr

To mark their first anniversary, Investment platform looked to StartupScene for a different kind of celebration…

Haisam Awad

Earlier this year, I sat in front of Ahmad Hammouda and Seif Amr for a video interview and listened to them preach the good word Thndr - an all-you-need app geared at making investment easy. “Why?” I thought. “Surely investment in Egypt these days is a fool’s game, an exercise for a few, not the masses.”

The end of October 2021 marked the first anniversary for the platform and, one year on, co-founders Hammouda and Amr have plenty to be pleased about. As a fully-licensed platform, Thndr not only allows you to easily make investments, but it also equips users with the tools and knowledge to do so efficiently and, ultimately, successfully. An easy-to-use initiator for the uninitiated, the platform is taking every step to break down barriers to a field that is defined by the very outdated notions and systems that Thndr seeks to address.

Among these steps have been special campaigns targeting segments that would otherwise go shunned by the existing investment system, including one that involved encouraging women to share their experiences with investing online with a view to disrupting investment and help more women capitalise on the opportunities that spring from investing.

Another rather unique approach to its overall goal of democratising investment and ushering in a new generation of Egyptian investors came this weekend. Looking to mark the startup’s one-year anniversary memorably, Hammouda and Amr came to StartupScene. Together, we set-up a unique weekend at Ain Sokhna glamping experience, Basecamp, where we invited a quite unique cross-section of young, hungry and successful Egyptians - the kind of men and women Hammouda and Amr spoke of targeting during that interview.

On first look, it’s a random group defined by a kaleidoscope of skills and achievements. Yet they represent exactly the kind of people Thndr is looking to empower - men and women that are established in their fields, a new generation of Egyptian ‘influencers’ in the wider term of the meaning, leaders of a new era for others to follow.

Day one saw our guests get to know each other over some ice-breaking games, before embarking on a rope course challenge that put both their physical and mental skills to the test - which were once again tested with a hike. They were also then given the floor over a bonfire, as each shared their professional journeys. Throughout the day, Hammouda and Amr took the chance to explain more of Thndr to them, drawing them into a world they never knew they could be a part of. Day two saw them take on a more challenging hike, more games and even a session of yoga among the activities.

So, what was the point of all of this? Well, not unlike the growing number of entrepreneurial retreats in and around Egypt’s ecosystem, this excursion was based on two simple fundamentals: education and awareness. There’s a ceiling above our most innovative and creative individuals - a velvet rope that they cannot pass, lest they tread on the toes of the trailblazers of yesteryear. Now is the time, though, to break that seal.

Whether through in-depth video features or our 25Under25 list, StartupScene has always sought to shine a spotlight not only on young talent, but on the unlit roads they have in front of them. It’s through these shared values with Thndr that brought to life this most unique of weekend retreats - a first step for each guest to try their hand and have a say on the future of Egypt and the state of its business landscape.


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