Part II: The Challenge Of Accessing Talent In Dubai Just Got Easier With Dubai Startup Hub’s Co-Founder Dubai Program
Taking the leap starting a new business is tough enough. From potential customers to banks to investors and the media – you’ve got to be brave and step out into the world to convince people of your product or service every single day.
So it’s no surprise when entrepreneurs say they absolutely need a co-founder not only to stand alongside and ease the burden of going at it all alone, but also to fill in the skill set gaps, whether in terms of finance background, technical expertise or marketing experience.
But it’s easier said than done to convince someone to believe in your idea as passionately as you do.
Advocacy round tables held by Dubai Startup Hub, the entrepreneurship arm of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have significantly highlighted that many startups are struggling to find the right talent. Meanwhile however, a social media poll conducted by Dubai Startup Hub, found that two out every three entrepreneurs surveyed in Dubai have a potential need for a co-founder.
Addressing this crucial need, the Dubai Startup Hub launched Co-Founder Dubai, a new program that will help match UAE entrepreneurs with the right co-founder to support their growth plans. The program is geared to support the development of strategic sectors in Dubai by providing startups with industry specific expertise as well as comprehensive training and guidance to improve the success rate of startups.
Here’s what a set of the first Co-Founder Dubai cohort of entrepreneurs in search of a co-founder have to say about their search for the right partner…
Akos Venesz, Founder, Pacific67 Innovation Studio FZ-LLC
Pacific67 is a Dubai-based kitchen innovation studio that caters to the needs of millennial home cooks, and food and beverage industry professionals and businesses around the world. The e-commerce business model currently focused on two verticals: creating new exciting products that include cutlery, kitchen utensils and light appliances; and an online customization and visualization application for large scale orders from hotels and restaurant chains.
The challenge of finding the right co-founder: “There is a good pool of people in the Dubai entrepreneurial community but finding someone who shares our passion and values, someone who buys into the vision of Pacific67, is the tricky part.”
Why having a co-founder matters: “My business partner Bassel and I [are involved] from conceptualization to prototyping, logistics and go-to-market strategy. But we also know the areas where we are not as proficient, and that’s finding funding and technology. To achieve our growth plans, partnering with the best people that we can find is of the utmost importance.”
My ideal co-founder: “Two Co-founders actually: a CFO and a CTO. We are looking for a CFO with pre-established connections in the investors community capable of helping in finding funding to fuel our growth, and a CTO with experience in IoT applications, with a developer’s background, with proven competencies in web based applications.”
On being part of Co-Founder Dubai: “Less than three months ago, we made the decision to bring in two co-founders with complimentary skills to bring in the necessary experience in finance and technology. We hope that Co-Founder Dubai will bring us face to face with a pool of people that can potentially fill in any of the roles described above.”
Eng. Yaqoub Alali, CEO, Solarino Energy Solutions
Design of Solar energy plants that will be leased to businesses.
The challenge of finding the right co-founder: “Starting a business is really hard, but running it is even harder and more stressful. Convincing someone to start a company with you means selling your vision the same way you’d sell it to investors and it need a lot of passion and conviction about it.”
Why having a co-founder matters: “I started realizing that I need a tech co-founder recently, after I finished a pre-seed program with Sheraa in January 2019. In Sheraa, I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and business development. That’s where I figured that I need help to distribute and delegate tasks to run the company more efficiently. I’m in love with my company and idea, and it’s not possible to clone myself during my lifetime. It is good to have a companion by your side who understands you and shares your vision and passion since startups require far more time and effort than a 9-to-5 job.”
My ideal co-founder: “Someone who comes up with more ideas through brainstorming and is also well-equipped to seal the loopholes in those ideas by questioning and innovating. Of course, it is impossible for someone to be good or great at everything because everyone comes from a particular background, and hence I need someone to complement my skills. My ideal co-founder has to be eager to get started and build the company, know how deal with stress and resolve conflict, be motivated, [have positive] response to stress, and preferred methods of giving and receiving feedback.”
On being part of Co-Founder Dubai: “I believe the program will help to sort and select the best candidates for a co-founder in a systematic professional method by professionals of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce who know best of what markets need.”
Mohamad Bin Dalmook, Founder, YAH Capital Financial Services LLC
A free online financing brokerage business that focuses primarily on consumer banking clients and potential to expand into the commercial banking lending segment. The fintech startup will offer clients 24/7 free online financial brokerage services in a transparent manner from the convenience of their home or office.
The challenge of finding the right co-founder: “I’ve been looking for a co-founder for two years. The challenge is finding a co-founder who is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who is keen to make an impact in the way people deal with daily financial needs.”
Why having a co-founder matters: “My strength is in finance and so I need a CTO co-founder who is strong on the technology side of the business.”
My ideal co-founder: “Someone with strong financial technology background and enthusiasm who is determined to make a positive impact. The ideal co-founder will have experience in leading internal and external teams, be capable of developing and building the technology required to deliver the website and app to market, and able to plan and execute a technology roadmap to support a 3-5 year strategy. He or she would also need to have expertise defining and developing data protection and security policies, and ensure full compliance with global standard data management requirements as a financing broker.”
On being part of Co-Founder Dubai: “I’m looking for support not only with finding the right co-founder but also assistance in terms of on-boarding a cofounder into the startup.”
Read more from other entrepreneurs who are part of the first Co-Founder Dubai cohort here.
Applications for co-founders will close on April 15th. Click here to apply.