This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.
Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman of Wamda Group and refined venture capitalist was part of a fireside chat at Startup Turkey 2018, he shared knowledge on the startup journey and growth of the tech eco system in the region.
The technology revolution as we know has been spurred by the advent and adoption of new technologies in the world, smartphones, the internet, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, autonomous cars are all concepts that are driving the world right now, and just as we know it, startups today adopt all these technologies in delivering their services and products. This basically tells us that startups are bringing the future as we know it closer to us.
Fadi Ghandou, a refined venture capitalist who has deeply been actively been involved in startup culture was part of a fireside chat at Startup Turkey 2018, he shared knowledge on how the startup culture has developed, investments and the need for more involvement in the ongoing technology revolution.
Fadi talks about what he looks out for in startups, mentioning that a he has to see that a startup is able to scale the geography of emerging markets, specifically in neighbouring countries. For entrepreneurs, Fadi says that he cares less about the nationality of an entrepreneur and pays more attention to his knowledge, capabilities, skills, technology and team. Fadi also compares the separate growth of the startup culture in different regions, mentioning that different countries have started coming up funding strategies meant for only indigenous startups.
As a venture capitalist, Fadi gives a recap of his experience investing in startups from a period as early as 1999, he invested in 100 startups at a time when there were not so many people doing the same thing, according to him, venture capitalists are at the heart of driving the startup culture and take the most risk of all parties. In exits, Fadi claims to have made the most exits in the region, citing an example of an Egyptian startup he invested in and recently sold, he also cited various startups that were able to exit due to size.
In funding, a lot of venture capitalists and angel networks have sprung up in the last decade, making it easier for startups to be able to sustain themselves by overcome the inertia that comes with floating startup. He buttressed the need for more seed stage funding, adding that we need babies to make adults, meaning that startups need that initial 50k-200k dollars funding to enable them lunch their product, gain traction and make more money.
Fadi goes on to talk about startup failures as a good thing for the startup culture, saying that failures teach lessons that entrepreneurs would hardly fail at a second trial, Silicon Valley has more failed startups than successful ones, Fadi also encourages startups emerging from university campuses to get out into the “real world” because its outside the walls of school, adding that universities do not understand the 21st century, in conclusion, Fadi says it’s a lot fun to be in the startup community at his age, but not so easy for the younger set of people, but that is how things are meant to be.