Entrepreneurs Organisation hosted Falcons Nest to help connect start-ups and investors
The Middle East’s start-up ecosystem is booming, and the UAE has retained the major share (70 per cent) of investments followed by Saudi Arabia and Lebanon with 9 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, making the emirate the most promising investment hub in the region.
“Start-ups and SMEs have become the heart and soul of the country. As such it is important that they are offered the right platforms to showcase their products and services, whilst gain the right funds,” said Vinayak Mahtani, Member of Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO).
To ensure start-ups and SMEs connect with their target market and investors, Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) recently hosted an initiative called ‘Falcons Nest’ where three EO Accelerators pitched to three Falcons (EO members) and one external PE investor.
While the forum served as a strategic platform for EO accelerators to secure funding, it also prepared and trained Accelerators on how to stand up and tell their businesses story in front of investors and strangers and helped them dive deep into their business with the questions that have been asked by the falcons.
The event followed a Shark Tank style format, and the three fledglings – a payroll business, b2b fashion platform and a fruits delivery business successfully pitched and received interest from the falcons, in addition to securing finance.
“Attracting investors is vital for a start-up as they help it with the finance needed to get the product in the market. By offering beyond the traditional methods of business financing, Falcons Nest provided accelerators access to capital which better suits the needs of their business and growth plans,” added Vinayak.
The opportunity EO created with Falcons Nest was security backed debt vs equity. The platform provided an opportunity for business to sell some of its shares of an investment which as a capital does not need to be paid back, but mandates the company to share part of its profits with new business partners.
“SMEs and start-ups contribute largely to the economy; and as this is only set to increase, access to funding is certain to remain integral to their growth. As such, we’re delighted to be offering platforms as Falcons Nest, enabling us to help even more small businesses in the future,” concluded Vinayak.
During the event, the SMEs and start-ups received an opportunity to pitch, present ideas without a PowerPoint presentation and had an opportunity to connect and network with some of the best investors in the region.
While events as Falcons Nest are remarkably great for start-ups and SMEs, they are also beneficial for investors as it introduces them to companies which are ready to grow and attract investments. Therefore, growth prospects and new markets open for all the parties. In addition, platforms as Falcons Nest are more transparent and offers an opportunity for small businesses to try something new – to try something that is in sync with the times, their needs and aspiration.