One of the greatest missed opportunities in Middle East business is no longer going to be missed.
Back in July, I wrote an essay in Geektime on “The Anti-Israel BDS Movement Will Fail“. Little did I know how quickly that would prove true!
Many Israeli companies build technologies which could be very valuable to the broader Middle East region, particularly in water tech, agriculture technology, and cybersecurity. However, Israeli companies historically did not focus on marketing to their immediate neighbors. However, Israel and the United Arab Emirates recently announced that they will normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship. Other Arab countries are rumored to be working on similar initiatives.
The MENA region has a population of nearly 500 million people, with a growing young population. The average GDP per capita is approximately $35,000. It’s a major opportunity.
I have a longstanding interest in this nexus. Back in early 2017, I worked with ABANA (network of financial professionals with ties to the Middle East/North Africa); Harvard Arab Alumni Association; and Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of NY (which I founded) to launch an annual Tech Summit in New York focused on the Middle East/North Africa region (“MENA”) . I previously lived in Israel for 3 years and was CEO of an Israeli startup.
I’ve identified a wide range of organizations who are working on bridging the economic, cultural, and political gap between Israel, the Arab community, and the Middle East/North Africa region (“MENA”) through technology. (Read more...)