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The Perfect Pitch

There is nothing like it. You have an idea, and you have the stage for a minute, or two, or five. You’re on a mission to sell yourself, your vision, and your team. There is no room for error, and no room for mediocrity.

You need to be the number one advocate of your product. You need to love it, and you need to show how much you believe in it. You need to be passionate about it. Passion is contagious, and the only way you are going to win the crowd over.

With passion, you need to deliver a clear vision. You need to show that you are captaining a plane with a clear destination, and that it would be a mistake not to come along for the ride. That means really understanding your product and getting the basics right:

  • Why are you creating the product or service, who is it serving and how big is the market?
  • Why your solution? what’s so magical about it that competition can’t replicate?
  • How will you make the idea a reality?
  • Why your team can take it forward and succeed?

Get those figured out and take the 2 minutes you will have, mix in Passion, Confidence, Clarity and Keep it Simple.

Demo’ers shorten up the above, make it quick and focus on your demo. Show us your product and go through a few scenarios that really showcase your top features. Check out Demo 2011 pitches for some examples. Be very clear and very precise – that means Practice! Practice! Practice!

And now, we will leave you with this –

“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days [of preparation]; if half an hour, two days [of preparation]; if an hour, I am ready now.” – Woodrow Wilson

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ArabNet 2011

ArabNet Shift Digital Summit is coming up on March 22- 25 at the Habtoor Hotel in Beirut.

Jump start your ideas and apply to ArabNet’s Ideathon and Startup Demo. The Ideathon gives selected entrepreneurs 2 minutes in the spotlight to pitch their ideas to investors, incubators and others. The top 3 pitches will win cash prizes as a seed grant to help them build a prototype of their product. The Startup Demo allows selected startups that already have customers/users and a revenue stream to showcase their products in 5-minute pitches to a panel of judges. Additionally, startups will be provided with exhibition space for the duration of the conference.

The deadline to apply is on FEBRUARY 27th [Extended to March 6th]. You can find more information on the event and application process here.

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Samba…Di Beirut! Mimix pulls a Pele move against Brazil in the final face off!

Goaaaaaaaaal! Lebanon 1 – Brazil 0.

Mimix just won the final face off against Mindle from Brazil and became the ultimate champion of Global Startup Battle. Congratulations to Mimix and to all YallaStartup’ers you showed to the whole world that we have the Power of Yalla!

Below from the Global Startup Battle page:

All of us at Startup Weekend extend a huge round of applause to the entire MIMIX team for a job well done! Congratulations to Pierre Daher, Jessica Abou Haydar, Pascale Baaklini, Akram Barakat, and founder Mahmoud Darawaheh. As the Ultimate Champion, the MIMIX team wins a website by Clover and a customized video by SwitchMarketing! These prizes, in addition to those the team received as Week 1 winners, will help catapult MIMIX to the next level of entrepreneurial success.

MIMIX is a web and mobile app which builds on speech recognition and 3D modeling technologies to translate speech into sign language in real-time. The team and their startup have huge potential and we are certain that the winners of Global Startup Battle will have many more successes in their future.

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YallaStartup’ers do it again! Amazing Capsu.ly slam-dunks and wins Global Startup Battle!

StartupWeekend just announced:

YallaStartup Weekend’s very own Capsu.ly wins Global Startup Battle: Wild Card! In an impressive show of solidarity, Capsu.ly received three times as many votes as the second-ranked team. Lebanon now boasts the winners of both GSB: Week 1 with Mimix an dGSB: Wildcard with Capsu.ly –an impressive show of entrepreneurial innovation and grass-roots networking from one of Startup Weekend’s newer countries.

Capsu.ly is the “world’s first infinite and free community-based storage system” that takes personal files, dices them into pieces, duplicates and encrypts those pieces, and distributes them across a worldwide network of users. Files are safe and inaccessible by those hosting them yet account holders can retrieve their personal files at any time. Sound cool? Want to learn more? Check them out at capsu.ly!

Capsu.ly‘s win comes only a couple of weeks after Mimix’s! So Silicon Valley, can you hear us now? Now before you do anything else, it’s time to do the final voting between Week 1 and Week 2 winners, let’s show again our amazing support for Mimix. Yalla Vote NOW!

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MBC scouting for emerging entrepreneurs in Lebanon and Syria

MBC Ventures is coming to Lebanon and Syria in the next few weeks to meet with young emerging entrepreneurs. They are hoping to identify a few to support with cash and expertise.

Read the MBC invitation below:

“MBC Ventures is a fund set up and run by MBC Group looking for young entrepreneurs who have ideas, products, and businesses in the media space that addresses the local MENA market. The sort of projects that MBC is interested to invest in will include among other things, initiatives on the web, new and innovative content for digital platforms, gaming, mobile apps, animation, etc… MBC will provide both cash and other support functions to help the selected projects become operational and profitable media businesses.

MBC is interested to explore Start ups that have a product and track record of performance with a business plan and investment proposal. If you only have a brief project with no clear business plan, we will also be happy to speak to you and see how MBC can support your ideas.

MBC needs a clear 3 year vision and an investment proposal where available.

Beirut
Monday the 13th of December – Between 11:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm at MBC offices in:
Gefinor Center, Bloc B, 4th Floor, Clemenceau Street, Hamra

Damascus:
Wednesday the 15th of December – Between 11:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm at MBC offices in:
Al Jamarek Square, Tabaa Building, 7th floor

For more information please email dania.ismail@mbc.net”

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Got List? Get Listed on YallaStartup Companies

We are excited to launch the first release of the YallaStartup Companies. It is a one stop shop for all MENA startups, venture capitalists, and incubators. After several months of hard work, we have been able to compile hundreds of MENA institutions. A sign that things are healthy in the region.

YallaStartup Companies has a ton of cool features like product videos, traffic analysis, news feeds and more; everything we could get our hands on. For the geeky, we built this using php, wordpress and MySQL.

Like we have said before, we love communities and we need your help to keep it up to date. So if we have missed something, or you are an early stage startup looking to get on the map, please submit the details using this form or email companies@yallastartup.org.

Of course like everything entrepreneurial this is a work in progress, and we’ll be doing more cool stuff in the future. However, if you have ideas we would love to hear them.

This project was built by Elie, Amir and Rock. We would like to thank them for all their hard work making this project a reality.
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How the “Power of Yalla” got 34 Startups launched in one Weekend!

The Weekend of 12/11/10 was one to remember! More than 250 participants came from all around the Arab world came to Lebanon for a highly intense 3 days of coding, networking, fun and most importantly of action!

Friday afternoon the first “Geeks on Bus” arrived at Berytech from Syria. Crowds were pouring in from all over. We had people from Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Jordan, Palestine, USA, Canada, just to name a few of the countries represented. Energy was mounting to get started, but we were waiting for our Jordanian “Geeks on a Bus” to arrive. The driver got lost, but they eventually got there. Gotta love Beirut traffic. When our Jordanian friends arrived, we were ready to get started.

The goal of the first day was to get people organized into teams. The stage was open for anyone to pitch their idea in 60 seconds. After an intense compressed session, over 60 ideas were presented. Now the task was to identify the best ideas that will get traction for teams to form around. So we did it Bazaar style where each participant had two votes to cast for an idea using plain old post-it notes. It was fun to see everyone selling their ideas to others, which is really something that also happens in real life during the early stages of a startup. People gravitated towards 35 ideas and now the wheels were set in motion to take that idea and build a prototype to pitch in 2 days.

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Hitler Sucks, MENA Startups Rock!

Remember how Hitler first reacted when he heard about YallaStartup Weekend ? Well wait until you see what he said when he heard about the 30+ mind blowing startups that were formed at the weekend!

Hitler Sucks, MENA Startups Rock! YallaStartup Weekend from YallaStartup on Vimeo.

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Yea that’s right, MENA wins Global Startup Battle!

YallaStartup Weekend is one Weekend to remember, it was our first but certainly not our last! The amount of energy passion and talent was unbelievable, more than 200 people showed on up on Friday to pitch ideas and form teams. Teams got formed with people from various skills backgrounds but most importantly various nationalities. The weekend ended on Sunday evening with more than 30 startups created in just 2 days! Yes, it was an intense high energy but fun and productive Weekend!

We will write other posts summarizing the event and list all the amazing startups but first we want to share that WE WON GLOBAL STARTUP BATTLE!

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Arabic poem for YallaStartup Weekend

This is a poem that was written by Ala Suleiman for YallaStartup Weekend!

Enjoy!

قالولي ليش إنت مكركب
قلتلهم رايح عـ yallastatup

شلة مبرمجين
Geeks ومصممين
بدهم لحمة بعجين
… وعطول أكل مرتب

وقلتلهم رايح عـ yallastatup

من أردن سوريا ولبنان
رايحين انملي المكان
لا تقلولي انك نعسان
… فريقك لازم يكسب

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