An Arab Entrepreneur Wish List: My Top 3 Hopes (and Fears) For 2013

24 Dec, 2012

2013 hopes

I ‘ve been running ArabCrunch since 4 years now, I’ve been involved in the Arab tech industry since before that date. I saw many things and how it evolved and the startup ecosystem now looks better as we see more startups get funded and we see more Arab startups that generate revenues and even profits.

As this year 2012 is passing I would like to post my top wish list for the next year (2013) and my top fears.

My top hopes:

1- ArabCrunch to generate Ad revenues. [tweet this]

We had our upside and downside in ArabCrunch, when we had some money we hired more people and we were able to provide great content thoughtful analysis and increase our visits and page views. Now revenues side things are not great. I hope advertisers come again to us and advertise so we can hire more people and grow to serve the community with interesting and thoughtful stories about Arab startups and tech from an independent perspective. As ArabCrunch is the only independent platform in this space.
To be honest I have new plans for ArabCrunch and for the Arab tech sector for the year 2013 and I will let you know inshallah about them once they materialize.

2- To See the first Arab tech/Internet IPO: [tweet this]

When Yahoo acquired Maktoob it was hailed that this event will push the Arab tech and startup sector as now we see an exit for VCs. And it did, now we see now more VCs and funding rounds in the Internet and tech sector in the Arab world. For the year 2013 I hope we get beyond building local copy cats in hope for selling to American companies. I hope to see the first Internet company to launch an IPO and start acquiring other successful regional startups. This would be first step to have more Arab tech IPOs and will create a snowball effect in the ecosystem. I see MarkaVIP as a company that could do that with its millions of revenues and souq.com.

3- See More Hardware Arab Startups [tweet this]
Most startups in the Arab world, are Internet based, I wish if that change, I want to see more Arab hardware startups like UAE based infinitec Pocket TV Startup Reactor VLSI promised to incubate hardware startups I wish them all the best. However we need more initiative to help create an Arab hardware sector.

My top Fears:

1- Series A crunch in the Arab world: [tweet this]
As we see more accelerators in the Arab world we see more startups seed funded, but what about series A? If there is no enough early stage and growth VC to fund seed funded startups we are going to see a crunch and more seed stage startups go out of business.

2- R&D does not grow in the Arab world: [tweet this]
Arab world GDP spent on R&D is much below industrial nations, I hope that changes and we see more R&D center get started in the Arab world, like KAUST in Saudi Arabia and Zawyel City in Egypt.

3- Continued Government Censorship of the web: [tweet this]
Last year we saw Jordan government proposing a law to censor the Internet and many online activist get arrested, I am not talking about porno blocking as this is good! I am talking about free speech and political censorship. Hope we do not see more government censorship on the web and those laws that censor free speech get lifted.

#image by darrentunnicliff

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