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The First Startup Roadshow Ignites Its Engine To Embark On A Journey Across 5 MENA Cities 

Thanks to the Startup Roadshow, Syrian entrepreneurs get a chance to pitch in Amsterdam's Startup Battle at the SPARKIgnite Conference competing for up to $8,000.

Staff Writer

Jusoor, Spark, and Startups Without Borders are coming together to launch what they're calling the Startup Roadshow, the first of its kind on the planet, taking place all around the MENA region from September 22nd to October 13th. The Startup Roadshow is taking Syrian entrepreneurs to five cities, from Beirut, Erbil, Amman, to Gaziantep and Istanbul, embarking on a journey to discover the next Syrian startup rockstars and give them the chance to win up to $8,000 at Amsterdam's Startup Battle at the SPARKIgnite Conference happening later in late November. 

“We are very proud and excited to embark on this roadshow and competition, a first of its kind, in support of Syrians in their host communities," says Dania Ismail, Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Programme. "We hope to tap into the Syrian diaspora and find talented young entrepreneurs eager to become economic pillars in their present and future communities.”

Starting with Beirut, the roadshow will train 20 teams of entrepreneurs in each location through two tracks: the Idea Stage track - for entrepreneurs who have not yet created a startup - and the Early Stage track - for entrepreneurs who have launched their business and are looking to raise investment or grow their business. Moving on to Erbil, the roadshow will train Syrian entrepreneurs in Iraq, to then move on to Amman on October 6th, Gaziantep on October 13th and Istanbul on October 20th. Participants will also get  Google Cloud Services, Facebook Ads, co-working space membership, and free design for their Pitch Deck to help set them on the path to success

Two winning teams from each city will take to the global stage, as they get an all-expense covered trip to Amsterdam to pitch at the Startups Battle at the Ignite Conference, held on November 28th.

The competition, organised by Jusoor and SPARK, aims to lay the groundwork to inspire and support the creation of economic opportunities for Syrian youth by equipping them with the skills and tools to think about businesses and startups. The roadshow will hold a series of five-day bootcamps, to scout for the visionary, the bold, and the ingenious youngsters with the potential and the will to create new realities.

“Through this project, we aim to contribute to the economic empowerment of Syrian Refugees in the region through entrepreneurship support," says Mohammed Skaik, Spark’s Regional Entrepreneurship, and Economic Empowerment ManagerWe expect that a group of 100 Syrian small businesses and startups to be empowered and their capacities built to be able to expand their work. This will be a role model to support entrepreneurs from refugees and other marginalized groups in Syria’s neighboring counties."

The competition is open for teams that have at least one Syrian founder and who have developed an innovative solution to an existing problem or are building a scalable business.

Apply before September 16th
Main image courtesy of Startup Roadshow


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