January Pitch Meeting  

Our 2016 pitch meetings kicked off on January 25th at our ecosystem partner in5 in Dubai. And what a start it was! Four great companies pitch and saw both new and old faces.

Women Investing in Women Digital is a global digital media platform focused on the economic empowerment of women and girls

MrDraper is the first personalised men’s shopping service in the Middle East and hand pick outfits for men based on their preferences

BEEM is a mobile app that allows you to find and book a salon appointment anytime, anywhere

JustMop is an online on-demand platform that connects individuals with cleaners. Invitees can use the promo code WOMENA for a discount on the service ahead of the Pitch Meeting

To view pictures of the event, check out the photos on our Facebook page!

Thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing you again at our next pitch meeting on March 23rd!

Change to WOMENA’s Events  

It’s been a busy year for WOMENA (check out our review of 2016 here) and we’re always trying to refine our processes and events to deliver the best service to our members and entrepreneurs. To that end, we’ve been listening to your feedback about the structure and timing of our Pitch Meetings and have decided on two big changes starting in January.

First, the Pitch Meetings will move from being monthly to being once every two months. While the frequency of the Pitch Meetings may be cut in half, the number of pitching startups will double in number to four so over the course of the year members will see the same number of startups pitch.

Second, we will separate the education component of the Pitch Meetings into to its own separate event: our Series A(ngel) Workshops. Covering all bases of angel investing, attendees will finish the day with the foundation to become involved in angel investing themselves. The workshops are open to all women interested in angel investment, regardless of background or financial experience. The workshops are free for WOMENA members. 

With these changes, we are delighted to be announcing the Pitch Meeting and Series A(ngel) Workshop dates for the first half of 2016. To add the dates to your calendars, click any of the links below. To RSVP to the January Pitch Meeting, please email [email protected].

2016 Pitch Meetings

Monday January 25th

Wednesday March 23rd

Monday May 23rd

2016 Educational Workshops (Free for WOMENA Members)

Saturday February 20th

Saturday April 23rd

Interview with Kate Dyer, Cofounder of Dish  

If you’ve ever attended one of our Pitch Meetings, you’ll know how fantastic the food is. That’s all down to the amazing Dish Catering & Events, one of the Middle East’s leading caterers. We don’t have a Pitch Meeting go by without someone sending us an email afterwards how much they loved the catering!

We had the chance to speak to Kate Dyer, the Cofounder and Stylist at Dish, who illuminated on Dish and what it’s like running a catering business.

Can you introduce yourself?

Kate Dyer – Cofounder and Stylist at Dish Catering & Events

What first brought you to Dubai?

Travel and opportunity, I was always interested in the region and I first landed here in 2005 at the ripe age of 21. I flew with Emirates for a couple of years before working in branding and marketing and then finally taking the plunge with my husband to open Dish.

Can you introduce Dish?

Dish Catering is a boutique, high end catering service with a focus on “service with personality and food that steals the show”.

Why did you found Dish?

Both Henry and myself have worked in catering and hospitality in Melbourne. We saw a real gap in the market for reliable service, exciting creative food concepts and most of all businesses run with passion and care.

What opportunities are there for caterers in the UAE?

Huge opportunities. It’s constant and growing. Just when you think it can’t get bigger, it does. Dubai is an amazing place, you just have to talk to people and show that you care about what you do and you can succeed. The events here are extravagant, luxurious and exciting. We are constantly evolving as our clients interests change and grow.

What’s been the strangest/craziest/most random catering job you’ve worked on in the UAE?

Ooh wow there’s been a few. Breakfast for 40 on hot air balloons, Eggs Benedict nonetheless, elegant luxurious sit down dinners in the desert for 500 – a sandy affair. We have also worked on gala dinners for 500 on Nurai Island, the entire operation has to go over on boats at 3am (ovens, water, gas bottles, tables – the works!…)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of setting up a business in the UAE?

Bureaucratically it’s difficult. There’s a lot of red tape and administration, hoops to jump through, especially when opening an operationally sound kitchen. On the plus side the strict guidelines in the UAE for food safely and handling means we know our kitchen is one of the best in the region, if not the world.

Do you have any advice for potential entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the UAE?

Yes be patient, find mentors, ask questions and always be on the edge of your comfort zone. If you’re not pushing yourself you’re not growing.

Is there anything you would have done differently when starting up Dish?

Yes – built a bigger kitchen! We started with a modest space but we outgrew it quickly, since we have built a kitchen 4 times the size, a 12 month process. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

How have you found being an entrepreneur and cofounder?

It’s exciting and challenging but very rewarding, Ours is also a family business, so Dish really is part of who we are.

Our Tenth Pitch Meeting  

Our tenth Pitch Meeting on November 22nd saw KinTrans and Medicus pitch to our assembled members and guests. Dr. Keith Jones from Khalifa University kicked off the evening with an engaging workshop on assessing intellectual property.

KinTrans‘ device translates sign language into audio and on-screen text next time

Medicus is a platform to interpret and visualise your medical tests in order to show exactly what they mean for our exact health profile

If you were unable to attend, you can watch the recording of the event! To receive the password, please email [email protected].

WOMENA Pitch Meeting on November 22nd from WOMENA on Vimeo.

View the full album of photos here!

Our Ninth Pitch Meeting  

Last week, we held our ninth Pitch Meeting at in5, which was another big success. This month’s Pitch Meeting was in partnership with TechWadi as part of their annual roadshow across the Middle East and Sharif El-Badawi gave a fantastic workshop to kick off the evening. Sharif is the Head Mentor for TechWadi as well as the Partner Lead for VCs and Startups at Google and a serial entrepreneur.

Ennota and Kanari were the two presenting companies this month, both of which gave strong pitches. 

Ennota is a simple, cloud-based financial management solution built for MENA SMEs

Kanari uses branded mobile surveys and powerful analytics to help businesses measure customer satisfaction

Thank you in5 for hosting us again and we are looking forward to returning for our Series A(ngel) Workshop on December 19th!

If you would like to view the pitches from the evening on our Vimeo channel, please contact us for the password. You can also see the photos from the event here.

Our Eighth Pitch Meeting  

As the oppressive summer heat begins to dissipate, WOMENA welcomed its members back for our eight Pitch Meeting on September 30th after the summer break. It was our first Pitch Meeting since June and we were eagerly anticipating the resumption of our monthly Pitch Meetings. The event was held at the excellent in5 in Dubai and we look forward to returning there in the future.

The meeting started off with WOMENA Co-Founders speaking on how to maximise WOMENA membership. It covered a lot of topics and was well received by the audience.

Following that, our two presenting companies for September – Pavilion 33 and Yaqut – presented.

Pavilion 33 is a curated marketplace for fine art from emerging art scenes, starting with the Middle East and Africa. They were part of the first class of graduating companies from Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi.

Yaqut is a gamified and ad-subsidized eBookstore based in Jordan and has become the most popular and fastest growing in key MENA markets.

We were very pleased with how the event went with over 50 people were in attendance and it was great to see so many new faces.

Our next Pitch Meetings will be on October 26th and November 23rd. Ennota, ioGrow and UserTalk will Pitch in October and Kanari and KinTrans will pitch in November. These Pitch Meetings are by invitation only; if you would like to attend one (or both!), please email us at [email protected]!

WOMENA’s Sixth Pitch Meeting – May 23rd  

On May 23rd we held our sixth Pitch Meeting at the in5 Innovation Center in Dubai. Amazing to think that it’s been six months since our first Pitch Meeting!

The evening started with Ramy Assaf, Senior Associate at our partners Middle East Venture Partners, leading the workshop. The workshop was titled “What is Due Diligence” and was very informative for the assembled WOMENA members.

FalconViz and Party Camel were the two companies to present this month.


FalconViz is a 3D aerial scanning and modeling system utilizing multi-rotor copters with AerialSfM, a proprietary 3D modelling software

Party Camel is an online party store, specializing in stylish, on-trend partyware

We were fortunate to have Dior providing the event goodie bags and Dish supplying the catering. All in all it was a great event and both FalconViz and Party Camel received enough interest to go through to the next stages of due diligence.

Welcome Back!  

Welcome back! It’s been a while since we last posted a blog but hopefully you will have noticed the changes to our website! We are very excited to have the new website up and running. We would love to hear your thoughts about the new design and content! Email us at [email protected] to give us your feedback! The blog will become much more active as well and expect a flurry of posts in the coming weeks. 

Over the summer, WOMENA has been very busy preparing for the Fall. Entrepreneurs have been selected and our next Pitch Meeting is on September 30th. To request an invite or learn more about membership, send us an email. To see what you’re missing out on, check out the video we made about our March Pitch Meeting.

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!


WOMENA’s First Pitch Meeting!  

The first WOMENA Charter Group Meeting was held on December 10th and saw three companies present to WOMENA’s charter members. Kamal Hassan, the founder of Turn8 and the i360accelerator as well as the General Partner for Fenox Venture Capital in Dubai, kicked off the proceedings as a guest speaker. He highlighted a few key elements investors but pay attention to when analysing the presenting companies. He specified the importance of diversification as well as the strength of the founding team when choosing an investment.

Bern Shen, a serial entrepreneur, TechWadi board member, and a member of the Band of Angels, then addressed our members, warmly greeting them to the world of investment and quickly reaffirmed the need for women to be invested (pun intended) in this industry.

Following our two guest speakers, the three companies – Eventtus, Feesheh and Melltoo – were invited to present to the assembled WOMENA members.

Eventtus is a one-stop events platform, helping people discover new events, buy tickets, and network with the right people to make the most out of event night

Feesheh is the first online store for musical instruments serving the Arab World

Melltoo is a social marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of secondhand goods, available as an app or online

Each presentation was followed by a Q&A from our members. The evening concluded with networking and a further chance for our members to grill the entrepreneurs on their business plans. All in all an excellent evening!

To see more pictures from the evening, check out our Facebook album!