Microsoft Geeks Day, Entrepreneurship Session

Microsoft Geeks Day, Entrepreneurship Session

So, I was invited by some awesome Microsoft Student Partners to speak about entrepreneurship during an event they organized called Microsoft Geeks Day. Being a Microsoft Geeks Day, I thought Bill Gates would be the best figure to discuss. The whole session was just a punch of videos with comments and discussions around them, that I believed conveyed the image better than a thousand words can.

Some of the videos I presented during my session are below, I guess you can figure out the whole content from the videos, Enjoy!

Bill Gates from Pirates of Silicon Valley
Bill Gates Negotiation Skills, makes a big difference from Pirates of Silicon Valley
It’s not about how big you start, but how big you THINK
You want Xerox to consider something called the Mouse
People skills from Pirates of Silicon Valley
Amr Deabes, Entrepreneurs Driven NewEgypt

Amr Deabes, Entrepreneurs Driven NewEgypt

Being involved in the entrepreneurship scene in Egypt, running Egypreneur; I’m certain that entrepreneurship is the vehicle for the bright future of Egypt.

Having the opportunity to speak at TEDxTanta, I used it as an opportunity to reflect this meaning by reflecting entrepreneurs as the “Modern Knights” who are already and will be leading Egypt towards the desired change in the social and economic fronts, you can watch my talk from here.

Hopefully, there are plenty of bright examples that’s making a difference economically and socially right now. One of my favorite is Amr Deabes and Egyptian entrepreneurs who found Ability Contact Center; a contact center that’s fully operated by Egyptians with special needs. We usually consider Egyptians with special needs a load on their families and on their society accordingly.

While everyone is working on mobilizing different forms of “support” for those with special needs; Amr Deabes stepped up to giving them a chance to shine and turn their abilities, passion and patience into a productive tools in the society. I met Amr first time during Startup Weekend Cairo and had this interview with him for Egypreneur:

Reda one of the bright employees of AbilityCC, gave an inspiring speech during the weekend:

Seeing examples like Amr and Ability CC ignites my energy to work further on developing Egypreneur and mobilize as much support as we can to participate in creating the environment to more entrepreneurs to step up to solving social problems, while making an economic impact; Imaging how our new Egypt will be with thousands like Amr.

Walid of @Bey2ollak, Helping tens of thousdands get by!

Walid of @Bey2ollak, Helping tens of thousdands get by!

We’re all suffering from traffic in Egypt, six Egyptian entrepreneurs gathered to create one of Egypt’s most popular and useful mobile applications, Bey2ollak!


As it’s described: “Bey2ollak, howa mobile we internet community te2dar menoh te3raf aw te2ool 3ala el shaware3 wel ma7awer wel kabary eza kanet za7ma aw fadya.

In case you haven’t used Bey2ollak before, through the app used by more than 100,000 users, you can take better decisions and save plenty of time while navigating through our chaotic traffic.

For the application to be useful; a constant supply of updates, or tweets with #Bey2ollak HashTags should be be posted regularly, users who believe in the idea and use the app are constantly updating the traffic status wherever they go, Walid Mostafa Bey2ollak’s Operations Manager dedicated his time day and night to make sure that process is going smoothly and accurately.

I had the pleasure of meeting Walid multiple times and had some very insightful discussions about finding solutions to the traffic dilemma we’re experiencing everywhere in Egypt, as we’re strapping to launch Za7ma Campaign.

With someone as insightful, dedicated and effective like Walid and with bringing talents, expertise and resources together, I’m sure a difference can be made in our traffic experience in Egypt, in the short and long terms.

This is an applause to Walid for his impressive dedication and insights and for every Egyptian who steps up to make our lives easier.

Follow Walid on Twitter from here: @Rezo007, check Bey2ollak website and download the mobile application from here:

Dalia Said, Professional Volunteerism

Dalia Said, Professional Volunteerism

In such stage we’re living in Egypt when we’re talking about building the New Egypt and thinking of models, ideas and ways of getting stuff done to incorporate in the Egypt we’re building, a few individuals make some principles very clear and enlighten the path for us.

As a firm believer in entrepreneurship being the way forward for my country and dedicating most of my time in the last year working on Egypreneur, I’ve expressed in that blog how I see few individuals as icons that can enlighten our way.

I’ve mentioned Amr Deabes and how his Ability Contact Center is shifting the paradigm of our society to look at abilities other than disabilities, the model of passion and dedication in Walid of Bey2ollak with a daily job of getting everyone home as early as it can be, Sherif Ahmed and how with his positive energy; he’s evolving his surrounding and how Hanan Abdel Meguid is inspiring my generation and showing a role model for Egyptian ladies getting down to business.

Today I write about the unkown solider of some of the recent projects we’re rolling out at Egypreneur internally. I was lucky enough to get to meet Dalia Said during an event she called Super Heroes Mixer where people working in community development came together to discuss how to align efforts and develop synergy among organizations tackling the same issue. After an impressive activity I kept in touch with Dalia eager for an opportunity to work together.

October last year as Dalia was back to Egypt after completing a Masters degree in Education from Harvard, we had the chance to discuss what’s happening in Egypreneur and we had the pleasure of Dalia joining our Crew to work on building synergy among ecosystem entities and passing opportunities from them to entrepreneurs.

During this time, Dalia showed an impressive amount of dedication, commitment and professionalism and regardless the instability of switching our model, Dalia was a source of stability and progress to Egypreneur work during this period. Experiencing the work of volunteers in different organizations, I’ve never met someone who comes any close to Dalia’s added value to a starting organization.

When I get to think about the New Egypt we’re building I can clearly see that individuals with the dedication, commitment and professionalism who’re actively putting their passion to work and make a difference every day is what’s really needed for the country we’re building together.

It reminds a pleasure for me having the chance to work with Dalia and I wish we get done with a cloning mechanism soon to have more Egypreneur(s) like her evolving our country into the New Egypt we all dream of.

My ToastMasters Journey so far ..

Hi Everyone,

In this post I’m intending to present my personal experience with ToastMasters so far. I thought as the purpose of the club is sharing experience and helping one another become better speakers and as Linda said benefiting from the club as a personal development tool. I’m going to present how I benefited from ToastMasters so far and what I’m looking forward to develop with your help in the coming phase.

First, I knew about ToastMasters from an amazing joint outing between Xing Egypt Business Network and ToastMasters organized by Mohamed Alborno by the end of 2008 after which, I decided to give it a try, as I was in a very Geeky attitude in the last couple of years working as a freelance web professional so all what I do involves a computer for designing, coding and online business networking. Opening up and having more social activities while developing my people-skills was my goal.

I attended couple of meetings as my time permitted till I officially joined by March, 2009. I remember my first participation in the table-topics in my first meeting, in which we were supposed to pick a job title and present what we do, my job title were “independent investigator” and I found it really funny.

I gave my ice-breaker (first speech) 07.04.2009 which was a presentation of my background and my current activities and what I’m aspiring for in the future. Having access to the site after being a full member, I made use of the “Member Goals” section of the site, in which I thought delivering a speech per month would be a reasonable.

In the table-topics of a meeting after that, the discussion in the topic of developing Egypt had been opened. A lot of input had been added by both Egyptians and non-Egyptians and from here, I picked up the topic of my 2nd speech “The Development Way” which I delivered 19.05.2009. As the purpose of the speech had been to organize the speech.

I made a detailed structure for the speech which included lots of points, while I wanted to actually – after giving an introduction about the concept of development and factors affecting development (people’s attitude, leadership, education and freedom) I was supposed to emphasize on a project by Farouk El-Baz PhD that’s called “The Development Passage”.

There had been a lot of information to be delivered in 7 minutes – so I followed up from the speech with an Email describing the details of the project, I even kept a copy of it in my personal blog here: And took a note that as a person who focuses on the technicalities of the issues, I usually have loads of information to share, the challenge is to decide which to keep and which to cut to suit the available time.

Speaking out especially in English in ToastMasters as a non-native English speaker, gave me confidence to start making videos for my YouTube channel after delivering couple of speeches in ToastMasters, so I made that YouTube video: and had the intention while working on developing my speaking skills on ToastMasters, I’ll be also making YouTube videos for extra practice.

As a web professional, I thought about sharing some of my experiences via ToastMasters speeches and thus started a series of 3 speeches and labeled it Reaching Out.

My third speech had been Reaching Out (1) – Online Networking which I delivered 23.06.2009. As a freelancer my main stream of prospects during that time were coming from online business networking sites, I was most active on Ecademy – a UK based business network and I still have my profile there:

I shared my ideas about online networking while focusing on being straight and getting to the point. I also, decided to publish my ToastMasters speeches on my personal blog after I deliver it. There is a copy of that speech here:

Looking to the feedback in the manual, I found while it had an overall positive feedback from Dhalia I still should have shorten the speech more. Which is really something to do with what you get used to, I’m a Geek – that kind of person with high level of technical understanding and with the eye for the details and it takes practice to change our habits, so that had been something to work on, even till now. As we all know overcoming habits that goes up to personal features takes practice.

My next speech the fourth continued the series Reaching Out (2) – Starting an Online Business – 21.07.2009. It was my first time to completely write the speech before delivering it because the purpose of that speech was “how to say it” which focuses on picking the right words and avoiding Jargon. I got an overall positive feedback from Gonar – who used to be a part of the club – with a hint to speak slower and clearer as a non-native English speaker, my pronunciation might swing sometimes.

As a result, I subscribed to a few YouTube channels that present English as a Second Language and Accent-Reduction advice like: and as I was advised by Mr. Hassan Osman to give especial attention to my P and B. Accordingly, I practiced with some online resources

I posted the speech here:

The fifth speech continued the series with Reaching Out(3) – Making online videos – 18.08.2009 –

Ambition to meaning:
Egypreneur videos:
Lifestyle shift:
First time toastmaster:

A new business card

Hey All,

This is just to break the silence for about a month on the blog by a short post, I just went with my amazing cousin Mahmoud and got couple of Twitter-like business cards for our start-up. We worked together since October, 2006 and I’m very happy seeing things moving for the best after years of hard-working.

These are temporary business-cards we created till we settle down with a final decision on the identity and go further with the online presence.  I’m considering blogging much more often and getting a bit personal. Hopefully, I’ll be starting that from now.

Have a good time all

– Abdo

Sharing Link:

Tales of Corruption from USAID-funded Bamyan Media, with #ElMashrou3 Part I

After the striking wave of criticism the launch of ElMashrou3 was received with from entrepreneurs and despite all possible PR and Advertising tricks the money can buy; the opinion of professionals and obvious impact assessment have shown a great failure to a potentially massive project to Unleash Entrepreneurship in Egypt, for which the United Sates Development Agency seeded Bamyan Media with a $4.1 Million Cheque.

My blogs in this regard started as an observation to the feedback shared by entrepreneurs and knowing only little of behind the scenes from what I experienced with Bamyan Media, this topic evolved into an actual investigation as each communication I received led to another and ended up with mega stories of what is really going on there. The scope of corruption and deceit with which Bamyan Media dealt with their surrounding is extremely unbelievable.

Not to repeat myself, please refer to my other post Who is really behind El Mashrou3, to tack down the evidence of the entity controlling the project and its background.

There goes a lot of in-depth look of the work of Bamyan Media and it’s first ever project, El Mashrou3 in Egypt:

  • Strategy
  • Track record
  • The Funding
  • Production Industry
  • Media Agency
  • Entrepreneurship / Egypreneur
  • Contestants
  • Waste of energy and resources


The business strategy of Bamyan Media is quite clearly stated in the LinkedIn profile of David Elliot, the one actually running Bamyan Media, I understand it might be quite sensitive to state that as David Elliot is obviously doing everything possible to make his daughter, Anna Elliot, feel like in charge, but her lack of any basic CEO skills  make this extremely obvious.


Bamyans Approach is to access resources directed towards social entrepreneurs around the world and supposedly channel these resources, through some kind of “media platform” into social entrepreneurs. If we search for definition of Corruption and Mismanagement well find that most cases of corruption in development around the world is about entities that access large pools of resources and misdirect, mismanage or use these resources for private gains.

If we briefly survey entrepreneurs in Egypt whether they have sensed the $4.1 Million USD or whether it directly or indirectly contributed to Unleashing Entrepreneurship in Egypt, the response will be very obvious, if we add to it the fact that the non profit corporation Bamyan Media and its founders own a Limited Liability Company in Egypt that was created based on the assets of their project in Egypt, we will know who is really profiting from this.

Corruption is positioning yourself as a receiver of “donor” funding that you are not only unable to manage, but you abuse the whole surrounding in the process of trying to make use of it, the business strategy of Bamyan Media as stated by David Elliot is a perfect example of positioning for corruption.

Track record

Bamyan Media was awarded a $4.1 Million USD grant to “Unleash Entrepreneurship in Egypt”, Bamyan Media established in 2010 as per their website, had absolutely no track record in performing any of these activities, though, the only argument is that Anna Elliot, the daughter of Mr. David Elliot and presumably CEO of Bamyan Media was the “executive producer” of a similar TV Show in Afghanistan executed by USAID.

This part is covered in my post: Who is really behind El Mashrou3, makes it obvious that the show in Afghanistan was executed by USAID itself with funds from ASMED project which was managed by David Elliot, furthermore, by this time Anna Elliot was a student at Hampshire university and part time bar-tender she didnt qualify even as a junior producer to be credited as a the executive producer of a TV Show.

Meaning that the only supporting reason behind bringing Bamyan Media to Egypt was the fact that David Elliot managed a $54 Million USD funds for USAID in Afghanistan, part of which was used in funding a pilot season TV Show there, then with his daughter they set up Bamyan Media to continue running the same model at different environments where there are any “grant” money directed towards entrepreneurship according to the strategy above.

This is very striking in USAID’s approach  in contracting entities for impact, which obviously known to be former consultants with no experience or linkage to the economy who can cover up all their shortcomings through clever PR machines and creating a network of beneficiaries who would be interested in covering up on these cases of corruption and mismanagement for pieces of the pie.

The Funding

In this official document from USAID Egypt Entrepreneurship Fact Sheet, its confirmed that Bamyan Media, with no track record was able to secure $4.1 Million USD for their operation in Egypt. It is not an easy job for anyone around the world, but it sounded like a piece of cake for the Elliot’s. When I first met David Elliot on a one-on-one basis which resolving a strategic conflict he did everything possible to claim that he just joined his daughter after she started Bamyan Media which recently while looking at the background of the organization proved to be completely false. Why so keen on hiding this background?


U.S. State Department try to reflect pride in big numbers for supporting youth and entrepreneurs in Egypt and region, while USAID comes along as a PR initiative that doesnt mind, intentionally or unintentionally wasting potential for the sake of a few good mouths and a few articles in western news sites that doesnt take the effort to investigate real impact on the ground.

The funding which was granted for a non-profit was then used in setting up a Limited Liability Company, EL Mashrou3 LLC, registration number #63834 that its founders and cashing out from right now, even more, as they had no understanding of what they should be doing with the funds, Bamyan Media abused an unbelievable number of professionals, local entrepreneurs and even one of the largest media agencies in the world on their way to graduating El Msahrou3.

Below are some of these cases:

Production Industry

I interviewed exactly 7 producers who repeated the same story of the manipulative, amateurish, unethical approach of Bamyan Media. Beside David Elliot and Anna Elliot, Bamyan Media was joined by Asim Haneef, he was credited as the Executive Producer for the show, but practically speaking he was as far from production as it can be, following the same pattern of crediting Anna Elliot as Executive Producer of the TV Show in Afghanistan, Asim Haneef is obviously trying to use his journalistic background in building the image of Bamyan Media and expand their business in different countries.

My first accidental interview was with Mohammad A., the producer of the popular Khawater TV Series, he mentioned to me that when they arrived to Egypt, they tried to reflect their preference to work with him, while they shied away from presenting the TV Show produced in Afghanistan, as of being amateurish, Mohamed worked on formatting the concept for production, while is almost equivalent to starting from the scratch, meaning, they came with nothing, he also managed to  introduce them to a TV Network which accepted the project.

As the reformatting was done and introduction to the channel made, Bamyan Media turned their back on Mohammad A. and proceeded with their project then when they wanted to access the TV Network, they were turned down by the network which didnt knew them rather they approved the project for him, they were forced to get back to him and as he states it as a result of their manipulative, unethical approach he unreasonably increased the production budget to turn them away and he preferred to keep a cool personal relationship away from work.

What happened with the producer of Khawater was repeated dozens of times with the rest of the production industry in Egypt to the extent that Mr. Hisham Mahmoud former Vice President of ONTV mentioned that Egypt always had a mature, decent media industry, such abusive, unethical behavior was never witnessed in his years of experience.

Hisham Mahmoud former Vice President of ONTV also had more serious experience, he was brought aboard as a Senior Producer with the mission to aid the work on raising corporate funding for the production of the TV Show, Bamyan Media intended to use the $4.1 Million granted from USAID for its own operation and rather as its easier once you have the setup raise the production cost from corporate sponsors, initially a budget of 10-12 Million EGP was estimated, then reduced into $1 Million dollar.

Mr. Hisham states that they had colorful promises that attracted a lot of people as the media industry is challenged since Jan 2011, yet, they used some bureaucratic limitations imposed from USAID not to commit beyond three months with their sub-contractors, which as per his saying, was only a trick to get the juice and skip the payment.

The experience of Mr. Hisham Mahmoud included using him to initiate communication with potential sponsors and skipping his commission once deals are secured against the agreement made, using the three months limitation period as a legal cover. He also goes further to mention a weird situation when he arranged a meeting with a Senior Director at a leading Egyptian Bank that was interested in sponsorship, yet, David Elliot heard about a study conducted by the bank and got unreasonably clingy in accessing information, he says, the bank turned down the offer because of Elliots suspicious behavior relating to accessing the important economic study.

I always wanted to do something about this but never had the time and focus to, Mr. Hisham Mahmoud mentioned to me by the end of our meeting, this should really be known, it should be known that we have a decent and mature media industry in Egypt, I have never in my past professional experience ran by such manipulative, unethical example, who repeated the story with plenty of others.

Tamer E., Director of the popular Ray7een 3ala Feen Reality TV Show is also one of the Directors/Producers who was brought aboard, Tamer sensed the amateurish approach early on, after being squeezed for basic information and as he described it feeling violated like never before. Tamer excused himself from further involved with an SMS communication stating that The Dynamics are Awkward.

Another production house in Maadi witnessed a repeated story, after Bamyan Media approached them to lead the production for the show and they got the word, Asim Haneef requested a one-on-one meeting with one of three partners of the firm and offered her to join on her own individual capacity, which obviously is betraying the interest and trust of her partners, Haneef didnt find any issues with repeating the same pattern with several organizations, the situation fired back as she responded in an aggressive email communication CCing her partners that this was very stupid and unethical to propose.

It seems that Asim Haneef has repeated the same approach with several other organizations, the attitude of snitching, stealing and manipulating is not an attitude of someone who want to stay, we are a small industry and everyone knows everyone, no one would work with Bamyan Media anymore after being known for deceit and manipulation, main partner of the Production House stated, while requested Asim Haneef to be brought into the office, youll find half the production industry so keen on kicking his butt as he described it.

I was given plenty of other names and contacts for producers and production houses who were brought aboard, but this was enough for me to understand how they approached the production industry.

Furthermore, I was told another awkward story from the production house they finally worked with, I never had the chance to verify it and prefer not to publish it until its verified from its source.

Media Agency

Bamyan Media strike a strategic partnership with a leading Media Agency in the states before coming to Egypt where they started working with their local office on their branding and media strategy, I followed up with a lead that founder of Bamyan Media claimed before being over charged by the agency, as I went through a print out of Bamyan Medias account with the agency in a meeting with their CEO, It was clear who is lying, plus, the fact that, probably for emotional reasons, Bamyan Media didnt pay 70% of its pending installments to the agency and they might go for a legal action from their US office.

Moreover, the Media Agency CEO mentioned that Bamyan Media repeated the same pattern of behavior with professionals and production houses with the media agency, the agency brought an expensive format editor to write the format for the show, the agency endured the cost which was supposed to be covered from sponsors, upon securing the sponsorship deals Bamyan Media cut their relationship with the agency and denied payment, the CEO said that they used a void in the contract to avoid that, given that it was their fault they didnt request payment except for direct services.

At some point Bamyan Media announced being sponsored by a Major telecom, it seems like David Elliots attitude was repeated in a meeting with the CMO of the same teleco that resulted on turning down their offer, he was crazy, shouting at the CMO of a major teleco while securing a sponsorship deal? commented the CEO of the media agency.

To be continued

Google Ebda2 – Project Management Tools

Google Ebda2 – Project Management Tools

s a part of Google Ebda2 Crash Course to entrepreneurs who passed the competitions initial phase, I would like to share the resources I mentioned during the presentation and chat more about project management and available tools.

I wanted to strengthen on the fact that project management for entrepreneurs should be approached as a very simple subject to get stuff done, by then project management for a startup entrepreneur is not a complete body of knowledge to educate – at this stage – but it’s only about deliverables.

Egypreneur, The past, Present and The Bright Future

No doubt that my biggest investment in the last three years had been on Egypreneur, started side by side with DeveloperMan and DesignTemple, I had a different plan than how things went, maintaining Egypreneur with DeveloperMan and DesignTemple as CSR activities of my company that was supposed to receive funding, but, I’m glad that I had more in-depth experience in everything entrepreneurial and indeed that help me become a better entrepreneur.

Evaluating how things went since starting Egypreneur..

ToastMasters Competent Communicator Award

I recently received the competent communicator award from ToastMasters International after finishing the first communication track CC which is a set of 10 speeches each focusing on a specific skills to develop:

1) Ice breaker                                    07.04.2009           breaks the Ice

2) The development way                    19.05.2009           organize your speech

3) Reaching Out 1                             23.06.2009           Get to the point

4) Reaching Out 2                             21.07.2009           How to say it

5) Reaching Out 3                             18.08.2009           your body speaks

6) Operation Badr                              06.10.2009           Vocal Variety

7) Classification of Ethics                   17.11.2009           Research your topic

8 ) Three years in business                 12.01.2010           Get comfortable with Visual Aids

9) Ambition to meaning                      02.02.2010           Persuade with power

10) Take the first step in faith             15.02.2010           Inspire your audience

ToastMasters CC

Leadership – Long Before We Know Ourselves!

I loved these words:

Long before we know ourselves,
Our paths are already set in stone.
Some may never figure out their purpose in life,
And some will.
There are a lot of us who are caught up in this hell we all live in,
Content with being blinded by rules and judgment.
We live in a world where it’s more okay to follow than to lead.
In this world being a leader is trouble for the system we are all accustomed to.
Being a leader in this day and age is being a threat.
Not many people stood up against the system we all call life,
But toward the end of our first ten years into the millennium we heard a voice.
A voice who was speaking to us from the underground for some time.
A voice who spoke of vulnerabilities and other human emotions and issues never before heard so vividly and honest.
This is the story of a young man who not only believed in himself,
But his dreams too.
This is the story of The Man On The Moon.

-KiD CuDi,

Among criticism from entrepreneurs, USAID-funded Bamyan Media launches Egypt’s first entrepreneurship Reality TV Show

Whether you are among the hundreds who had been involved in the preparations for the show in the last 2 years, since September 2011 ,or the few millions watching it on TV or hundreds of thousands watching it online, oh really?

Everyone agrees that…

Egypt just witnessed the launch of the highly anticipated #1 Reality TV Show for entrepreneurs. Yah and Erm! actual entrepreneurs, whom the show is supposed to be about had been passing around wild comments as the first episode of the show aired on Egypt’s popular Al Nahar TV Network.

Comments ranged from the show being overly commercial, abusing entrepreneurship and passing the wrong image about being an entrepreneur in Egypt, even questioning the allegedly massive USAID funding and the intentions behind it.


Basma Albanna, Co-Founder of Sirkil


Abdulrahman Alaa, Founder of X-Project Student Organization, El Mashrou3 Partner Organization


Co-Founder & CEO of Integreight the creator of 1Sheeld the 850%+ Goal Achiever on KickStarter


CEO & Founder of 3alemni


Co-Founder of Brand Yourself, El Mashrou3 Partner Organization

Omar Aysha, Former Editor at, well, with 20+ likes to his status!

Also, on Twitter, remarks of being a competition show rather than an entrepreneurship show.


 Including Mohamed El-Tahawy, CEO of Smartology

That’s only some of the feedback gathered…

Okay, now, let’s be frank, why would I write this analysis, and why would you be interested in reading this, given that…

Away from the self-flattering facts of being the founder of a 5+ years old brand promoting entrepreneurship in Egypt, with deep passion to spread the virus in Egypt, under any brand as I would claim, plus, experiencing 6+ months of formatting a similar reality TV Show back in 2010/early 2011 .etc

Let’s state the real reasons here:

Egypreneur, the entrepreneurship gig that I’m in charge of terminated its superficial partnership with the organization behind the show back in December 2012 on the ground of copycatting some of our products and shifting their strategy from being a (TV Show) into being a (TV Show + Egypreneur) and using our intellectual property in the process, well, add to it the fact that when we threatened of legal + public action in response we had been untruthfully misguided by their management team that this won’t happen, they ended up avoiding it by being foxy, calming us down until it is too late to launch one and going on with the stuff they have stolen and even more details we volunteered during assessing a potential partnership framework, after all this we were too kind to let it go and just let Karma do its job.

Yes, yes and right now Egypreneur HQ made a public notice that the model of the resources section on their website is stolen from our famous Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Mapping Project which worked on mapping entities and resources helping entrepreneurs in Egypt and this particular part was planned to be released through an information product called Ebda2 platform, they ended up releasing it under the same title, and it’s true that there is a case of intellectual property violation (Violating Egyptian Law #82 for year 2002, Undisclosed Information Articles) being raised against the company managing the show/website and individuals involved.

All this is true, there is even more, if you want me to share, but that’s enough to make my point…

Now, why would you even continue reading given this background?


Well, one of the not-so-secret arms of Egypreneur is Impact Lab, where we started an impact assessment project through which we gather and analyze information including feedback to assess the impact created by the product (TV Show) and everything that follows, so we started gathering and analyzing feedback but you know professionally , it will be claimed non-objective if articles or reports being released through Impact Lab, while both organizations are having all this heated issues behind the scenes, I couldn’t attract third parties to join Impact Lab for the project so far, so it will remain undisclosed until this changes.

And you know what I thought? As I have access to the information anyway and it will be claimed non-objective by the ones who are ready to do so anyway, why not to release it under this poor personal journal, and oh man, I don’t mind if you consider it non-objective or a personal view. I will do my best to make it objective later, but it’s a personal journal, I’m free to do what I wish..

Well, I even could have launched this as an opinion piece through Egypreneur Community, but I preferred to do it under my own name, will make sure it remains as such along the way…

I will start following the systematic process of Impact Lab starting with the next post, till then let’s go with couple of initial observations.

First: Initial Viewership

Well, whether you love it or hate it, in TV business there is only one thing that doesn’t lie and you can’t get around it, numbers and viewership…

I did a basic analysis to number of views for Reality TV Show competitions before you can find it HERE, if you search youtube for episodes from any of the Reality TV Show competitions we witnessed you’ll find a rough average of 2-3 Million views per episode, Search YouTube for Arab Idol, MBC The Voice, X Factor Arabia, Coke Studio.

Well, El Mashrou3 was not less supported, it’s hosted on one of Egypt’s most popular TV Networks and it received funding from USAID, Silatech and Samsung, so they have everything to go wild, and they did…

The launch of the first episode was very well supported from all angles, they organized a fancy event at a five stars hotel and invited all fans, partners and friends into a gig with the soon-to-be TV entrepreneur super stars – doesn’t look right, isn’t it? – to get their support and digital footprint into promoting the show.  They also got the giant Facebook page of Samsung Egypt with over 5 Million fans to post their first episode, beside Al Nahar network Facebook page with over 2 Million fans…

Not only that, it seems like they also did the old trick of inviting pages with large number of fans to post their episode on YouTube, even if irrelevant, you can find it even in (Eftekasat Masry Om El Agnaby and a Fake Bassem Youssef Page)

Surprisingly, still they also seemed to invest in Facebook Advertising again, after investing massively across the last year to gain close to half a million fans, they still ran a Facebook Ads campaign to bring viewership to their first episode.

Episode_Sponsored SamsungAds

Thinking that should blow up the counter and strike massive viewership and digital footprint?

Surprisingly, the first episode today January 2nd at 6PM after over 12 days of aggressive promotion has barely reached 31,000 views , which is nothing compared to other Reality TV Shows with the same investment or even less, hitting 2 Million views in average, reaching 15 Million for a single episode in some cases!


This didn’t seem to be the case with the first episode only, the second episode after 5 days of release has only reached a bit more than 5,000 views.



Erm! How disappointing now, by standards of the media and TV business, despite all the budget spent and commercial packaging, you know, they call such viewership a massive failure.

Second: Attitude towards feedback, delete.

Don’t get me wrong, the feedback was not all negative, negative, not at all and who would expect that with allegedly over 1000+ volunteers around Egypt to support the airing of the show, mostly students given the benefit of being around future TV super stars, who even entered into heated debated in several posts against entrepreneurs sharing their views about the show.

If you visit their Facebook page you’ll find everything is going great. The smart social media managers got me smiling for the witty PR tricks asking audience”What is your positive feedback on the last episode” leaving space only for positive feedback, furthermore, couple of posts mentioned “deleting” negative feedback on their page and the comment mentioning that actually got the most likes indicating intentionally removing negative comments from their page.


That made me remember the days when I was running the first digital marketing campaign for Birrell, they launched a wicked campaign called BirellMan and oh boy it was being stormed with negative comments, I played an honest trick of making comments “pending approval” and waiting for confirmation to approve or delete from the company itself. I can understand the position of a social media manager being stormed with negative comments. Oh boy, by checking BirellMan YouTube comments now, even after 3 years, seems like they are still following my not-so-honest trick, check it out there all positive, positive.



As promised, I will not try to make this look as fancy as an Impact Lab report, but also won’t go super random and biased with personal opinions in all posts, actually I will partially use an assessment framework created at Impact Lab to analyze the project from all its angles, will see you in posts to follow with more in-depth look on:

  • The Entrepreneur behind the show
  • The Funding
  • The Beginnings ( 2 Years of Preparations)
  • The TV Show Format
  • The Viewership
  • The Grassroots Movement
  • More…

Have fun! And just enjoy the show 😉

Trust & integrity in business ..

Recently, I got disappointed with a few individuals and organizations who did what would normal people call preaching trust, but I’m really wondering what’s that called in the entrepreneurship sphere.

Don’t we speak day and night about the positive energy entrepreneurship brings to society and that everyone and anyone involved with such positive energy activities should be a reliable, trustworthy person or organization; while you can practically see a completely different image in your day to day dealings with different people and organizations

Understanding what “shit storm” might start referring to exact events and individuals. While I was advised that I don’t mention it at all, believing that such actions will go no where, I find it a good opportunity to learn a few lessons from.

Calling it “business”; individuals and organizations alike are expected to behave in their best interest. Starting a partnership can be really tricky and deciding what to mention and what not to mention at every communication can be really a hard job especially for those new to the “game”.

Getting information about something struggling to become can present an extremely valuable opportunity to pursue and if you have the opportunity to, come on why not to start this already, probably unethically pointing the middle finger to someone but who will ever know, let alone proving this.

“Claims” and “disputes” are usually the word to be used in such situation and let’s find away to be nice and work together leaving this aside would be a typical response. But still such experiences affect values like truthfulness, trustworthiness and directness that’s extremely hard to regain as it goes away and it’s a direct testimony about how a person or an organization behaves.

A straight forward approach and direct response when you’re faced with such allegation would be the solution if you have something to say, wouldn’t it? But provided there is nothing to respond with a generic response would be the only possible choice.

Finally, sometimes in life we find ourselves getting back to basic values we had been taught as kids, doing business is no different than any other human behavior and it’s governed with the same ethical principles, the value of what’s being done and what the dispute is all about is usually less important that the human experience.

And you find yourself saying: whatever things will turn out to be; at least, I won’t be unoriginal!

Job titles for startups; Manager, Executive or Officer

While expanding your business, getting more people aboard to be in charge of specific tasks, the question pops up. What should be their job title.

Different companies choose different job titles to describe the same thing, here is my 2 cents about that.

If I consider when someone to be in charge of marketing, business development or finances. We would have to choose between “Manager”, “Executive” or “Officer”.

Manager manages people, if someone’s task is managing people working on the same thing, then Manager is to be used.

If you run a startup and a single person is to be responsible of specific tasks, I’d personally not choose manager; no structure to manage. It could make sense though if it’s about managing the process. But that’s not good enough to my taste.

Executive is being very specific in execution, so someone described as executive implies – for me – not being involved with planning.

A startup describing someone as executive, seems like an insult to me. A guy who have no idea what he’s executing. just execute.

Officer, officer implies responsibility, power and I see include both managing processes + executing it. Officer = Planner+Executive+Manager

For a startup where an individual is responsible of a complete process, Officer is to be used. responsible, decisive, creative, manager and executive!

#coE2010 Question to Mr. Arif about supporting a network of shared workplaces in the region

Watch on TwitVid:

As my entry in the contest to win a trip to  Celebration of Entrepreneurship conference in Dubai, I posted the following video asking Mr. Arif Naqvi CEO of Abraaj Capital about supporting a network of shared workplaces in the region. I had been using the Hub Cairo and discussing its vision, objectives and future with Ulrike the founder of the Hub Cairo.

I firmly believe that the idea can be transformational not only in Egypt but in different parts of the MENASA region as Abraaj Capital defined it.

Hope to meet Mr. Arif Naqvi for our 5 minutes interview and discuss it further and very much looking forward to expanding my connections during the conference and get more information and experience about entrepreneurship in the region that will come in handy while working on Egypreneur

Also, very much looking forward to be a part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt through Egypreneur. We’re having some progress that will be announced soon.

As the views does count in winning the contest I’d appreciate your RTs, likes and spreading the video as much as you can.

Raising funds and incorporating ..

Hello Everyone,

During July had been my first experience directly communicating with investors to raise funds for my business, I had been having my friend Karim from Easy-up do it for me and we already got 6 investors interested but per the regulation of the Nilex I needed 25 to incorporate based on the model we had been working on.  But to accelerate things up, I had the chance to be in the position myself.

I consider the experience to be overall positive and I learned a lot from it. made a few mistakes; but normal for first timers I presume.

I did postpone launching the business web-site and start executing the business model till I get the funds I need – as I might need to optimize or even change the business model during negotiation , which put me in the position of doing “nothing” for the time I was mainly focused on raising the funds only.

Also role playing, looking at the situation from the investors’ point of view and asking myself the questions I’m expected to be asked during the meetings could have made a difference. Something I need to work on for upcoming opportunities.

As a big fan of ReWork I completely believe in their point of view expressed in “Outside money is plan Z”. Yes, I wish I’d go forward with no outside money, but it’s just feels exhausting for a long time. ReWork state the following reasons on why to consider outside money your plan Z:

  1. You give up control
  2. “Cashing out” begins to trump building a quality business
  3. Spending other people’s money is addictive
  4. It’s usually a bad deal
  5. Customers move down the totem pole
  6. Raising money is incredibly distracting

I really believe in these points even stronger now, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need plan Z sometimes.

And I also believe in this as much too:
What were your first experiences raising funds? What tips would you advice a young entrepreneur to take into consideration while going through his first incorporation experience?