#TBT To WOMENA’s second investment-Alem Health  

We are excited to announce our second investment of $151,000 in AlemHealth! AlemHealth is a cutting edge telemedicine company that is already transforming lives in the developing world. We hope with our members’ investment they can continue to grown and help many more people.

We spoke to Aschkan Abdul Malek, the CEO of AlemHealth, about his company and WOMENA.

What was the inspiration behind Alem Health?

During my time in Afghanistan and Iraq, many of my local colleagues and employees would regularly travel abroad for all their healthcare needs, spending ruinous amounts of money for what was oftentimes unnecessary had they the right diagnosis before they left. We looked at this problem and thought there had to be a better way to get a proper diagnosis than getting on a plane. A few months later we started working on building a diagnostic telemedicine platform that can work in resource-limited environments, and a year later here we are.

Why is Alem Health important?

We make high quality medical diagnosis accessible globally at a fraction of the cost of medical tourism. Our technology addresses a market segment, developing countries, that has been ignored by large healthcare providers, and provides diagnosis at a global standard. In particular, our work has been instrumental in expanding access to high quality women’s healthcare, with nearly 80% of our current patient population female.

Where is the company now (in terms of impact, customer penetration) and how do you plan to keep this up?

We launched our MVP in January and had our first paying patients by the end of the month. Since then, we’ve grown to 8 hospitals and hundreds of patients diagnosed, and are looking to expand into multiple countries in the coming months. We’re currently rolling out our next iteration of the service, which is built for global scale and will be announced soon. In terms of impact, we’re saving lives through our diagnoses, as our urgent service is regularly used for emergency issues like stroke and trauma cases, and our routine service diagnoses no shortage of cancer cases and serious diseases. The earlier we find those, the faster we can start treating them.

How has your experience with WOMENA been? Have we helped you?

WOMENA has been instrumental to our growth, allowing us to access capital in a region where angel investment is far from established and difficult to source. They have a professional due diligence process, move quickly, and allowed us to get back to what we do best, pushing the boundaries of where high quality healthcare is available. The investment helped us go from an MVP to a polished, scalable product that we could take global.


Melltoo’s “Instagram Entrepreneurship – The Key to Succeeding in Style”  

Since investing in Melltoo, we’ve continually been proud with their progress and growth, none more so than when they announced they were hosting the event “Instagram Entrepreneurship – The Key to Succeeding in Style”. This event will bring together female entrepreneurs who use Instagram as their primary sales and marketing platform and explore best methods and practices. It will be an exciting event and we hope as many of you can make it as possible.

Three local female entrepreneurs will be speaking at the event: Fatma Mohammed Obaid AlMulla; Ayesha Siddiqua; and Latifa Al Shamsi.

Fatma (@FMMbyFatmaAlMulla) has an extraordinary 101,000 followers on Instagram where recently created her own khaleeji pop-culture brand named “FMM” (the 3 initials of her name, Fatma Mohammed AlMulla). She observes social and cultural problems, stereotypes and misconceptions and addresses them via detailed illustrations and tongue and cheek Arabic captions and her business has grown across the Gulf. A Visual Communication graduate from the American University of Sharjah, Fatma has fast become one of the most promising designers in the region.

Ayesha (@ayeshasiddequa) originally hails from India but has spent most of her life in Dubai. Ayesha spent 12 years in the corporate world before starting her own label Ayesha Siddequa, a collection of a collections of Abaya’s and Women’s ready-to-wear for her customers who are chic and glamorous with an edge. Ayesha is also the Creative Director of Future Fashion, an online marketplace that brings together sustainable fashion brands from around the world.

Latifa (@bylatifalshamsi) started blogging five years ago, quickly building up a large following. Three years later she launched the clothing line Queen L with her sisters and, this month, she is launching her own line of fashion ready-to-wear and accessories.

Make sure you check out the event page and email [email protected] to get an invite. The event is at 6:00pm on 20th May at the in5 Innovation Center. If you can’t attend, then make sure you check out both the Melltoo and WOMENA Instagram pages!

WOMENA’s Fifth Pitch Meeting on April 25th  

On April 25th, WOMENA members gathered to see pixelbug and Guiddoo present. Our Chief Content Creator, Nichole Bates, led the workshop entitled “The Startup and Funding Lifecycle”.

Guiddoo creates personalized audio and video tours of world famous monuments and tourist attractions

pixelbug creates awesome augmented reality apps that fuse art with technology and have developed colorbug

Check out all of the pictures from the Pitch Meeting on our Facebook page, in addition to the selected ones below!


Introducing Our Middle East Partners: N-Z  

Following on from our earlier blog post, below is the second post in introducing our partners in the Middle East.

Progress in Technology Middle East connects connecting entrepreneurs with Silicon Valley resources. PITME has developed an excellent network of partners in Silicon Valley to support Middle East based entrepreneurs

Startup MENA runs a series of networking events and workshops for startups across the Middle East, which can be found on our events calendar. Startup MENA has branches in Tunisia, Egypt and the GCC

TechWadi is the leading non-profit organisation dedicated to building bridges between Silicon Valley and the Middle East. Dr. Ossama Hassanein heads up TechWadi and is a big supporter of WOMENA. WOMENA is also an ecosystem partner of TechWadi

Turn8 is a partnership between DP World and i360 Accelerator and is a leading startup accelerator based in Dubai. Turn8 launched in 2012 and has accelerated some of the top startups in the region including our own portfolio company Melltoo

Venture Capital 4 Africa (also known as VC4Africa) is an online community of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Africa. This should be your first port of call to learn more about the startup ecosystem in Africa

Wamda is a platform of programs and networks across the Middle East that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across the Middle East. With programmes like Mix’n’Mentor and their grassroots content, Wamda has supported the development of startups across the region

Weyakum is dedicated to empowering young Emiratis with critical work skills to further their professional development and is led by Ameera Amir