WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
Startup Huddle Organizer Sara Ramadan said unlike other ecosystems, Dubai’s startup ecosystem can be incredibly draining for entrepreneurs. She said the ecosystem is very fast-paced and includes many international entrepreneurs. Because of this, Ramadan said some entrepreneurs feel left behind, overwhelmed, or paralyzed. She is hoping Startup Huddle will help these entrepreneurs better engage with the ecosystem.
“We are excited to have Startup Huddle Dubai as part of the startup community,” said Ramadan. “We believe that it will be a sustainable hub for international startups based in Dubai who are looking for more frequent and committed meetings to share knowledge and challenges.”
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
Ramadan said she hopes Startup Huddle can expand in UAE. Based on the success of the program in Dubai, Ramadan noted that other cities such as Abu Dhabi may also launch their own programs to support their local entrepreneurs.
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.