Are you a start-up in the Middle East? Then please help yourself

sweet_startups

I have been among internet start-ups in the Middle East for around 9 years, yet recently I started hearing this stereotype from people that twitter is their main place for start-up in these days so they start spending so much time on it and building hope around it; and my question always follow by: Is it an effective platform, is it giving you the latest news of your industry peers, can you submit your news that can help reach to many people in the region and not many miss it because they weren’t online while you tweeted it, did you get the exposure to offline media through twitter, are all people whom you follow and they follow you part of your stakeholders. If twitter is fun, it doesn’t mean twitter can do it all.

There are couple of sites you can visit and things you can do to attain your objective for networking, getting exposure, reading relevant news, and building a real community around your website/brand. I have compiled this short-list as guidance for the sweetest start-up and I hope you can share with me things you effectively use for growing your start-up.

InteractiveME.com

The blog that you are on right now, is among the sweetest and largest prolific blog that covers interactive media, internet start-ups, and social media in the Middle East. There is special section for internet start-ups and since we cover only region’s internet industry, most of our news are about internet start-ups launched recently or reviewed. You can tip us your news as well.

StartupArabia.com

Another sweet professional blog on our list is StartupArabia.com, a blog that profiles and reviews Arab start-ups, what’s nice about it is that you can find a history of launched Arab start-ups for the past 2 years. Furthermore, StartupArabia.com runs a wiki database that covers start-ups, venture capitalists, seed fund organizations, mentors, etc… You can tip them your news as well.

Yallastartup Q&A

A fresh and growing sweet Q&A platform for start-ups, you can read frequent asked questions by your industry peers and specially in your region, respond to questions if you have an answer for it, or just ask your question to get your peers’ insights. I mean, I always have been annoyed by platform that cover start-up yet their experiences or insights are about NYC or Alabama, so I find it irrelevant and leave. Now, do you have a question in your mind now, Yalla! post it.

Demo Camp

If you have a startup and you want spontaneous people review, it’s basically better than closed beta launch , like really tasting your sweet. This event allows you to present your work in 15-minute slides or demonstration and 5-minute Q&A. The event happen independently in Dubai and Egypt so far. It’s also a great place for networking. Is your product ready for demo?

Intheloop.me

Talking about psychically networking at Demo Camp is ideal, but you should also be around your audience/prospects/clients at cyber social networking sites like intheloop, the region’s first social network for entrepreneurs in the Middle East. This platform is new but growing. Intheloop.me is among our sweetest list but it shouldn’t be your only social network, international ones are important as well like linkedin.com, twitter.com, and facebook.com you should utilize them effectively for visibility and business development. You definitely need to stay in the loop.

You can share with us your special and sweet active platforms or activities that you find effective and efficient, we’d love to hear from you, but please specific to start-ups and don’t tell me techcrunch or mashable.

Let us know your comments

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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 interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.

13 Comments

  1. Hey Khalil,

    I wanted everyone to know that I didn't forget anyone, it's just a short-list to the very focused start-up platforms and I have asked our readers (including you) to include their recommendations. I know SalamBC for quite a long time back because when I was invited before by it's founder 2 years ago, even if it's not a start-up social network, but I believe it's valuable resource for start-up community in the Middle East.

    Cheers,

  2. Yeah I know that you are in touch with my colleague Alaa. I guess he told you that we are working on an Arabic version of VGArabia.com. We will let you know when everything is done. Thanks for the support and keep up the good work.

  3. Hi Hichame,

    You have mentioned couple of sites which I agree on some and don't agree with you on the others.

    1) ArabCrunch.NET (social network), is definitely going to be a great place, yet it's still in closed beta so I can tell people to make sure to be there. ArabCrunch.net will definitely get our coverage to you guys once it's launched.

    2) ArabCrunch.com blog it covers technology and mobile more than startups, so it's not on my sweet list, but probably it's on yours which I totally respect.

    3) thenextweb.com, is the duplicate content of techcrunch.com, more specific to web 2.0 and now cover slowly the region activities, yet again it's not the source of news for start-ups.

    4) HyperlinkPodcast.com i'm big fan of their podcast, yet again, it more towards technology and not towards start-ups, never got a start-up news from them. If you are saying that any start-ups if submitted can get coverage, then that's great news to everyone here.

    Therefore, 2, 3, and 4 are great source for technology news like twitter but not specific place for start-ups community and news.

    Cheers,

  4. Hey Ahmad,

    Thanks for your comment. I can agree with you to a certain point because we have mentioned that you can submit the news to us and startuparabia.com. And I'm in touch with your colleague Alaa (co-founder) and he promised to submit news whenever you guys have one. To be honest, we are craving for your news to tell the community your growth and progress. It won't be like N4G.com whereby you can submit anything, but it's good to share what is important back to your community.

    Based on your request, I'm thinking of adding a new widget on the sidebar that calls-out for news submission, so everyone would know they can easily access us.

    Cheers,

    Tarek Kassar

  5. Good post Tarek… but surely you’ve forgotten ArabCrunch (blog and network)?
    TheNextWeb is also growing in the Middle East… through its ME site.

    Another medium is by sending a voicemail to http://www.HyperLinkPodcast.com and promoting your startup that way. The podcast is growing rapidly in credibility and popularity.

  6. Good article Tareq. But I have an idea that could help startups in our region. I didn't see a single website in our region that gives startups the opportunity to submit their articles, new, etc. On the other hand, there are many websites in the west do that. I'm one of the owners/editors of VGArabia.com, do you know how we bring huge amount of traffic to our website? By submitting our articles, news, reviews to a site called N4g.com.

    What do you think?

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