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A Tale of Intrapreneurship: Smart Document Scanner Wins People's Choice Award at ArabNet

By Wael Nabbout | March 27, 2014 | Section: Analysis |

Smart Document Scanner, a multi purpose office productivity mobile app, recently won the People’s Choice Award at ArabNet’s Startup Demo competition during its latest Beirut event. The app features a formidable array of tools designed to help you digitize and manage any sort of document. It lets you scan, enhance, and convert to PDF and OCR (or Optical Character Recognition, meaning that scanned PDFs and images can be converted into editable text formats), sync, and file notes, receipts, invoices, meeting minutes, contracts, bank statements, whiteboards and so on. The app was developed by Softxpert, a software development company that was established in 2010 in Alexandria by Ahmed Abdelhalim, Project Management Professional (PMP) holder and experienced agile projects manager along with entrepreneur and product strategist Helmy El-Mangoury.

Prior to Smart Document Scanner, Softxpert focused exclusively on delivering software solutions for its clientele. But the company started exploring the intrapreneurial route when they initiated the ‘Softxpert Innovate’ program, an internal program which sought to come up with ideas for new apps and give team members the chance to be founders themselves. The idea that qualified from the first round of the program was the Smart Document Scanner, initially proposed by Ahmed Abdelhalim.

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Why Investors Are Sabotaging Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

By Nima Adelkhani | March 25, 2014 | Section: Analysis |

Everywhere you go in the Middle East you hear the buzz of entrepreneurship. You feel the pulse of the generation of doers. In each of the ten countries I visited in the Middle East, there are mandates, endowments, funds, funds of funds, grants, free loans and hundreds of other efforts to try and support the growth of the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem. While all this is great, everyone seems to be missing one very important issue: nobody is trying to fix the support mechanism. 

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Bitcoin or How to Avoid a Series of Unfortunate Events

By David El Achkar | March 19, 2014 | Section: Analysis |

Why should anyone consider Bitcoin? Why should individuals start using Bitcoin? Why should merchants accept Bitcoin? etc.

Few of us understand how TCP/IP and HTML work, how a jet engine works, or even how the credit card network works; but that doesn’t stop us from surfing the web, boarding a plane, or using our credit cards . Similarly, we don’t need to understand how Bitcoin works to appreciate its benefits and applications, and ultimately adopt it. It’s the why that matters. And here's why Bitcoin matters.

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‘Private Driver’ Marketplace Uber Launches in Riyadh

By Wael Nabbout | March 6, 2014 | Section: Analysis |

Uber, a transportation network company that connects passengers with drivers for hire and ride-sharing services, recently began offering its services in Riyadh. The company, which is a venture-funded startup originating from San Francisco, will solely focus on offering its UberBlack service with licensed limousines or rental cars and professional drivers in the Saudi capital.

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The $100,000 Mistake of Arab Entrepreneurs

By Nima Adelkhani | March 5, 2014 | Section: Analysis |

There seems to be a pattern brewing in MENA when it comes to raising an angel round. Instead of seeing more investors believing in the market and the opportunity it holds and investing in great entrepreneurs to built great companies, we see companies actually sabotaging themselves by thinking smaller and smaller and trying to raise less and less. Is this out of desperation or because of a lack of confidence in their idea? Or is it just that investors think they are in charge?

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