Bedaya: Young Entrepreneurs Pitch for Angel Investors

10 angel investors have attended the pitching presentations of preselected start ups as part of the first match-making event for the newly launched investors network “Bedaya”. Each entrepreneur was given 20 minutes to present his project and explain why he was willing to welcome external investors in his company. They were then facing another 20 minutes question time from the business angels who were interested in better understanding their concept, their business development strategy, their market and most importantly, what the money they could invest would be using at.

The Bedaya Network has been launched in a special event last May under the patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan at El Hassan Science City. The launch has attracted over 30 prominent Jordanian investors, business leaders and others representing organizations that cultivate economic growth. The founding institutions of the Bedaya are: the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, the iPark business incubator and the Arab Science and Technology Foundation. Noteworthy, it has been supported by the European program Medibtikar.

As part of the members of the network is Dr. Usama Fayyad – the ex-board member of Yahoo and world class serial entrepreneur- who has emphasized on the necessity of establishing such network, by saying: “This is the right time to establish such network due to the huge need for startup funding in this part of the world”.

The impetus of the creation of Bedaya is to offer national financing vehicles for innovative business start-ups as part of the El Hassan Science City’s mandate to foster knowledge-based enterprises with a promising potential for growth. The network will offer investments for early stage start-ups with a focus on science and technology.

The process starts by selecting entrepreneurs who are looking for funding and presenting the most ready ones every two months during pitching sessions to an audience of business angels. Business angels are private individual willing to investing their own money into high growth potential starting companies. But business angels do not offer only money to the entrepreneurs, since these investors are usually successful entrepreneurs themselves, they will bring their experience and personal business network to the companies they invest in, which is an invaluable asset and success guarantee for the entrepreneur.

Before pitching to investors, the entrepreneurs would have received special full-day training and coaching by Nelson Grey, a seasonal expert on business angel investments, where he stressed on the importance of designing such infrastructure in Jordan in order to pave the way for a strong knowledge-based economy.

Also, a noticeable point: Bedaya next pitching session is planned to happen during October 2009 and encourage interested business angel investors and entrepreneurs to contact the network in order to participate.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.