Christopher M. Schroeder, Guest Contributor
Christopher M. Schroeder is a Washington, DC and New York-based Internet entrepreneur and venture investor. He co-founded healthcentral.com, which was acquired in 2012, and was formerly CEO of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. His book, "Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East," was released last fall. He may be followed @cmschroed.
Ask any woman in the Middle East startup community about her greatest challenge, and the first things you'll hear are familiar to any entrepreneur. Can I do this? Will anyone care How do I choose from a hundred different priorities? When do I raise money? How should I hire? Can I move fast enough? Press a little further and equally universal themes come up for women, but with some regional sensitivities added.
As a mentor and advisor to two remarkable ecosystem builders in the Middle East -- the region-wide start-up portal and angel investor Wamda and Jordanian incubator Oasis500 -- I see (but take no economic stake in) some pretty astonishing entrepreneurs. Through them, I discovered two wonderful stories that offer significant opportunities for the Arab-speaking world.
Having spent much of last spring touring the remarkable and little-reported-on tech startup communities in the Middle East – from Cairo to Amman to Beirut to Dubai – I was excited to see that no one is rocking this scene more than the women entrepreneurs.