MARAKEZ to Host Prestigious Startups Without Borders Summit at District 5, Showcasing Global Entrepreneurial Talent

In its continued mission to support and nurture Egyptian innovation and talent, MARAKEZ hosted the 5th edition of the Startups Without Borders summit on May 10-11, 2024, at the visionary Kamelizer Spaces in District 5, East Cairo. Launched under the theme: Break Borders, Build Global Horizons, this year’s summit brought together 5,500 innovators worldwide alongside key players in the tech industry, gathering brilliant minds who make history and inspire the future of entrepreneurship.

District 5, MARAKEZ’s signature mixed-use development, embodies the company’s innovative approach by integrating work, leisure, and commerce in a dynamic urban hub. Known for its quality and meticulous attention to detail, District 5 provides an ideal setting for this prestigious event, reinforcing its status as a seamlessly integrated community and a visionary project that brings to life MARAKEZ’s innovative approach to development, creating spaces that nurture the passions of forward thinkers, foster creative explorers, and celebrate trendsetters. The venue is a key component of MARAKEZ’s strategic initiatives, crafted to cultivate a thriving ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurs, designers, and innovators.

The summit featured an impressive lineup of speakers and prominent investors from around the globe, such as London, Japan, USA, Senegal, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, including Ibrahim Sagna, Sadaharu Seiku, and Michael Lints, alongside workshops aimed at helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses internationally. Highlights included sessions on entering the US market, soft-landing programs, and the transformative power of AI, with more than 30 workshops designed to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary tools for global success. Here are more details on speakers and passes.

Aligned with the summit’s objectives, MARAKEZ has entrepreneurship and innovation as its core values, placing them at the forefront of its strategy. Ashraf Maklad, MARAKEZ’s Chief Commercial Officer, noted, “We are thrilled to host the 5th edition of the Startups Without Borders summit at District 5. At MARAKEZ, our vision is to truly add value to people’s lives, create meaningful connections to change how people look at their cities, and feel “The Power of Place.” By bringing together this special group of brilliant minds together, we aimed to drive meaningful discussions, foster innovation, and pave the way for a future where entrepreneurship continues to thrive in the current digital age. The integration we have put together at the District Five office park facilitates the creation of a robust startup ecosystem, which is the key to building a strong and vibrant economy.”

Valentina Primo, Founder and CEO of Startups Without Borders, stated, “For the past six years, we have gone from city to city in the MENA and Europe on a mission to build a transnational ecosystem for entrepreneurs, no matter where they come from. In a difficult year for the region, we believe there couldn’t be a better time to join forces and connect the visionary entrepreneurs who turn every crisis into an opportunity. By bringing startup delegations and investors from all corners of the world, from Italy to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, we were certain that the power that cross-border collaboration can spark is boundless.”

A new addition this year was the AI Salon, introduced in partnership with Jeff Abbot, founding partner at US-based VC Blitzscaling Ventures US, marking its debut in the Middle East. This innovative format complemented the traditional panel discussions and the Investor Room, which last year hosted 560 meetings between startups and global investors. Additionally, the summit introduced a corporate matchmaking room and offered scholarships for refugee entrepreneurs in partnership with the Netherlands’ Forward Inc.

Leading entities such as Qewam, Odoo, Aspire Consulting, GSE—Penn University supported the event. District 5, alongside Kamelizer Spaces, served as the venue partner, emphasizing MARAKEZ’s commitment to enhancing Cairo’s position as a leading hub for international business and cultural exchange.

As District 5 continues to develop, it becomes a prime location for high-profile events like the Startups Without Borders summit and stands as a testament to MARAKEZ’s dedication to creating spaces that celebrate innovation and community. This summit, among many other initiatives, added yet another dimension to the offerings available within District Five, further augmenting the vibrant community atmosphere and making District 5 a cornerstone for entrepreneurial and cultural growth.

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