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Posts tagged with ‘middle east’

Boris Johnson Announces £100M Fund for Middle East Startups

Mayor of London Boris Johnson joins Jennifer Arcuri of Innotech Summit on the Tea & Tech Google+ Hangout On Air set, live from the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum held in London. Johnson announces a £100 Million Fund for Startups in the Middle East and reaches out to connect tech clusters and encourage collaboration.

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Renewable Energy in Lebanon

Because of frequent and lengthy power outages, many families and businesses in Lebanon make use of diesel generators, which pollute the environment. Wind turbines and photovoltaic systems are promising alternatives.

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Climate Change 101: Fundamentals of Climate Change

The recent climate conference in Doha has sparked much interest with the adoption of the second Kyoto protocol. Larger nations may now be taxed for their environmental actions in order to compensate the smaller nations who maintain a more active role in their local environmental conservative activities. 

A new video on Vimeo (courtesy: Dark Igloo) is going viral and is looking to explain climate change on a more fundamental level.

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Yamsafer Announces $1million in Investment from Sadara Ventures

Ramallah-based online travel site Yamsafer made waves in the MENA region yesterday, annoucing a $1million round of investment from Sadara Ventures, a $30 million fund that focuses on early-stage Palestinian tech startups. Sadara’s backers include Google Foundation, Cisco, The George Soros Economic Development Fund, the Skoll Foundation, and The European Investment Bank. first to be announced by the fund and the first VC round to close in Palestine.

The investment round is big for a startup anywhere in the Arab World, especially one that bootstrapped for 12 months on seed funding of only $12,000, as founder Faris Zaher explains in our interview below. 

Yamsafer, which launched about a year ago, allows travelers to book Middle Eastern hotels online, at prices that are typically lower than the average international site. Its other big differentiator in the online travel agency (OTA) space is that it currently focuses on the hotel vertical and offers bundled packages that include local events, like Mashrou3 Leila’s upcoming concert in Amman.

Solar car steers course for West Bank energy independence

Palestinian engineers in the resource-poor West Bank city of Hebron have built a solar-powered car in an effort to find an effective alternative to costly fossil fuels. 

Testing Alternative Energy to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Chevron is helping the nation of Qatar meet its pledge to host a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in 2022. The Chevron Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency at the Qatar Science & Technology Park supports research, demonstration and training in solar power and energy efficiency.

A solar test site adjacent to the center is testing 25 different solar panels to find the technology best suited to weather conditions in the region. Watch how Chevron and Qatar are researching innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint for the 2012 World Cup soccer tournament. 

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Building an Apartment Rental Site in Saudi Arabia

Hattan Ahmed of describes how his Jeddah-based company launched to provide economy lodging and furnished short-term lease apartments in Saudi Arabia, and now offers discounts at 45,000 hotels and properties throughout the Middle East and Europe. Ahmed explains how that startup is hoping to break even this year, after launching in June 2011, and is looking to raise 1.5 million this year to expand.

Microfinance in Yemen | Young Entrepreneurs’ Stories

In Yemen, 75% of the population is under the age of 25 and the average yearly income is USD 1,100. In 2009, Silatech and Al-Amal Microfinance bank partnered to launch the first youth microfinance fund in the Middle East, supporting youth to start or grow their businesses.

To date, this fund has supported more than 14,000 young entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. In this video, young entrepreneurs explain the challenges that young Yemenis face, and how the Youth Loan Fund is helping them realize their dreams.