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By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: SILA Angel Investment Network was launched yesterday an initiative by Silatech that will transform the startup ecosystem in Qatar by forging closer ties between passionate investors and deserving entrepreneurs under the patronage of H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
SILA, which meaning ‘connection’ in Arabic will aim to fill an identified startup equity gap, as entrepreneurs in Qatar find it difficult to obtain funding for their business ideas.
“Qatar is leading in several initiatives around the world. It can also lead in filling this gap. Qatar can be a hub for investing,” said Dr Tarik M Yousef, CEO, Silatech addressing an audience of entrepreneurs, investors and experts at a ceremony held to mark the launch of SILA Angel Investment Network at Four Seasons Hotel, Doha. He explained that majority of young entrepreneurs have excellent business plans but not an investor, therefore SILA would be an ideal network to support them.
The event included short presentations from inspiring entrepreneurs, interviews with international business leaders and some of the influential investors in the Middle East. Presentations on business by the first six entrepreneurs selected to be part of the SILA network on their business ideas to a panel of investors was one of the attractions at the event.
Layla Al Dorani and Sarah Al Dorani Founders of Raw Me, Qatar presented their business plan on their company with an aim to promote healthy eating habits among the people in Qatar.
“Simply we will bring fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm to the customer. Juices, salads and snacks will be made with these fresh fruits and vegetables only,” explained Al Dorani.
Ziad Sankari, Founder of CardioDiagnosists, Lebanon explained the investors about a technology which could monitor patients with cardio problems out side the hospital. It would monitor the patient, find the location of the patient and inform hospitals.
SILA will hold a session today providing guidelines for effective angel investing, while it will continue to host entrepreneur seminars, angel investor training, business networking mixers and innovation forums.
Angel investor was originated in the US in Broadway theatre, where wealthy individuals would provide funds to aspiring directors for theatrical products. In business today an angel investor is someone who is motivated by a combination of return on investment and by a sense of responsibility to contribute to their community or country.