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Willie Elamein: Middle East’s market, and especially Egypt’s, is big enough for two or even four startups providing the same services

In collaboration with Flat6labs, TIEC hosted a very beneficial Business Modeling workshop yesterday. It was given by Willie Elamein, Flat6Labs Cairo’s Managing Director, and Ahmed El Sherif, Flat6Labs Program Manager.

Willie Elamein started the day by introducing Flat6labs accelerator program to the attendees and answering all their questions about it. He stressed on the point that to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be fully committed and devoted to your business.

“Starting you own business is not the easy way, being your own boss sucks. You have to believe that what you’re doing will transform people’s lives, only then will you be able to endure the hard journey,” He said.

Then, Ahmed El Sherif gave a talk about startups, startups enemies, myths and facts about startups, MVP, and lean business model canvas. El Sherif said: “Time is a startup’s enemy because you have very little of it, so you have to focus on what’s really important. While perfection is your other enemy because spending too much time perfecting your product that people don’t really need is a failure. And, resistance to change is your third enemy because you must have flexibility to change and try new things in order to succeed.”

El Sherif also stated that 70% of the efforts should be exerted in the market research and on the problem not the solution. On the other hand, Willie told those who worry about others stealing their ideas “If they steal your idea, it means they will own a startup and owning a startup is not an easy task. They will need a lot of commitment and persistence, so they will most likely give up and leave it.”

“And guess what? Middle East’s market, and especially Egypt’s, is big enough for two or even four startups providing the same services, that’s why Uber and Careem and Souq and Jumia work in Egypt with very high growth rates,” He adds.

At the end of the event, El Sherif gave an exercise for the attendees to do about the lean business model canvas and he urged them to apply on Flat6labs next accelerator round. The day was very fruitful and beneficial for those who attended it. 

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