Kerning Cultures’ Startup Series: UAE  

Kerning Cultures is a wonderful initiative to showcase the real Middle East using interactive podcasts. The aim is to portray the complexity of the region and not paint it in black and white terms, as is too frequently the case. The topics on their podcasts include philosophy, entrepreneurship, culture, history, art and technology and provide the listener with overdue complexity.

One of their first podcasts featured WOMENA Cofounder Elissa. Titled Startup Series: UAE, the participants were asked “Is Dubai the next Silicon Valley of the Middle East?”

Elissa starts off first and gave her story, her background and the starting point for WOMENA. The podcast weaves together interviews with Elissa, Baher Alhakim (the Cofounder of Medicus who is presenting at our November Pitch Meeting) and Aborz Toofani (Cofounder of Snappcard). Medicus is an intelligent platform to interpret and visualise your medical tests  Snappcard is a Dubai-based digital loyalty platform with operations across the region.

The three featured participants discussed the strengths, but also weaknesses, of the Dubai startup ecosystem. The conversation was frank and candid and while the future is bright for the Dubai startup ecosystem, the participants agreed there is still much to do.

To hear the participants thoughts, make sure you listen to the podcast. All you have to do is click the play button!

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!