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Startups Without Borders Goes Hybrid with Online-Offline Summit on Three Different Continents

A variety of powerhouse speakers are set to take to stages in San Francisco, Amsterdam and Cairo.

Like so many startups have done in this oh so difficult, oh so unpredictable year, Startups Without Borders is having to do things a little differently as it prepares for the second edition of its annual summit. Taking place on November 14th, the summit is planned as a hybrid online/offline event, which will stream live from three continents, each one hosting a variety of powerhouse speakers from MENA, the US and Europe.

As a platform that aims to connect migrant and refugee entrepreneurs with opportunities and resources, the theme ‘Brave New World’ is more than apt in the context of what has been a challenging year for entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs, investors, accelerators - essentially, every corner of every ecosystem on the planet.

Diving headfirst into unchartered territories of the post-pandemic world, the main stage of the summit will be in Amsterdam’s University of Nyenrode, while a second stage will be at the Hult International Business School in San Francisco. The third, meanwhile, will be hosted by the American University in Cairo’s startup accelerator, AUC V-Lab.

For founder and CEO, Valentino Primo, the challenges faced in putting together the summit very much reflects the challenges faced by the entrepreneurs - challenges that she believes have sparked a new wave of innovation, despite the initial gloom that washed over the world as lockdowns and restrictions came into effect.

“2020 has been a challenge for all entrepreneurs. But in the midst of a pandemic and global recession, we’re also witnessing the rise of incredibly driven entrepreneurs who take it upon themselves to build a brave new world,” Primo said. “This year, we want to highlight the stories of inspiring leaders who can share insightful, actionable advice for migrant entrepreneurs all around the world to keep working on their businesses.”

Alongside investors, VCs and accelerators, the summit is set to welcome a variety of high-profile speakers from the world of startups and corporate, most notably Senior VP and General Manager of Dell Technologies, Anja Monrad; Managing Director at Microsoft for Startups MEA, Roberto Croci; Managing Director at Facebook MENA, Ramez Shehadi; Managing Director at Techstars London, Eamonn Carey; and prolific blockchain entrepreneur and author of The Invisible Son, Tey El-Rjula.

In addition the summit has teamed-up with GIZ, Berkeley SkyDeck, Cairo Angels and MedAngels to host the Investor Room, which gives entrepreneurs the chance to have a 101 meeting with investors from angel investment networks in Europe, North America and MENA. Startups of all kinds are welcome to apply and, if chosen, they will be matched to an investor in the relevant industry, region and ticket size.
Arguably the most unique feature of this year’s summit, however, comes in the form of a series of virtual tours of different startup ecosystems. The Country Startup Tours aim to highlight hot-spots, with the ultimate goal of allowing startups to explore potential new markets.

It’s all shaping up to be an ambitious and encompassing occasion, one that has seen Primo even choose the three stage locations to feed into the theme.

“A European 13th century castle where the Nyenrode Business University was founded, to an Egyptian Sultan’s palace, where the American University of Cairo is set,  to the epicentre of the global tech movement with Hult Business School. The summit is taking over some of the world’s most symbolic settings to rethink, reimagine, and redesign the world we want to live in.”

For more on the Startups Without Borders Summit and tickets, click here.

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