Three and a half years ago Elissa and I were on a boat somewhere in the Mediterranean and under the cover of the dark night sky and a clear view of the stars unpolluted by city light, we decided to start WOMENA.
Fast forward to December 2014, we launched with our first pitch meeting, and we haven’t stopped moving since. And I’m glad we didn’t stop.
We now have 7 portfolio companies performing exceptionally well building the future in industries from digital health to blockchain and a wonderful network who jump at the opportunity to help them grow. We’ve seen over 1000 entrepreneur submissions, had 17 pitch meetings where 44 entrepreneurs have presented, and done lots of due diligence. Over 350 participants have participated in our 28 workshops on angel investment and venture capital hosted thanks to generous partners. I’ve had the chance to meet hundreds of brilliant entrepreneurs, I’m constantly learning about new industries, and meeting investors with vision for the future.
So it is with a heavy heart that I say that I will be stepping away from active management of WOMENA. We have three wonderful staff, a beautiful office, great partners, WOMENA has been growing steadily and evolving rapidly and I expect great things from the team with my co-founder Elissa at the helm as the visionary and Chief Excitement Officer, Nermine, our talented analyst, Christina, our head of business development and sponsorship, and Dulce, our admin and community manager.
I’ll be in and out of the UAE for the next few months working on an exciting project – stay tuned for more details – and then will be heading off back to my corner of the world (San Francisco, not Hollywoodland). I am excited to be moving to the heart of technological innovation and hope to bring back what I learn to the benefit of WOMENA, its portfolio companies, and the MENA startup ecosystem.
I’ll remain an advisor to WOMENA so will pop in now and again, and am endlessly dedicated to our portfolio companies and will see to it I enhance their success wherever I can. And I’m so proud of WOMENA, which has taken a life of its own and can outlive me. That’s what every founder wants for their company, isn’t it?
Signing off for now,