News & Events

  • News

    12 Jun, 2012

    Historical events usher in new business order

    Sawari began trying to raise capital and announced the launch of Flat6Labs just days before a popular up ris- ing felled Tunisian president Zeinal-Abidine Ben Ali, and two weeks before Egypt’s uprising began. It was a business plan that had been a year in the making. Suddenly everything changed. “What now?”Sawari managing partner Hany al- Sonbaty asked Mr Alfi days after Mr Mubarak had left power. “What do you think?” replied Mr  Alfi, along-time southern California resident who moved back to Egypt six years ago. They decided they would continue their plan. “Some of the best ideas were started at the bottoms of economies,”Mr  Alfi says. Thet women concluded the underlying fundamentals that had piqued their interest in funding start-ups remained the same, and were perhaps even rein- forced by an uprising led by tech-savvy young people using Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phones. They thought they would have to scale back their ambitions, given the risk-averse climate. “Capital has become a scarcer resource, ”says Mr. Sonbaty.“If you are forced to be more frugal, you have to be more innovative.” Since October, Flat6Labs haslaunched12companies, giving each start-up between$10,000and$15,000 in seed money in exchange fora10-15percentstakein the firm. The companies are mostly in the internet and mobile-application fields. Ideas includes of tw are that reorganizes social media timelines or makes book and media recommendations based on user interests… read more