__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 70

MONEY

ASK THE MONEY GUY | VC VIEWPOINT | YOUR MONEY | ECON

Fritz Lanman, CEO, ClassPass

Namek and Fawaz Zu’bi, co-founders, Silicon Badia

Rewards for risk

Silicon Badia’s Namek and Fawaz Zu’bi on building up a VC business b y M E G H A M E R A N I

T

here’s a Dilbert comic strip about venture capitalists in which its eponymous hero makes a wisecrack about starting his own venture capital firm. “I'm attracted to the concept of watching people with moronic ideas beg for money,” the satirical character quips.

70 / E N T R E P R E N E U R . C O M / November 2018

Namek Zu'bi laughs when he looks at this. “In terms of bad ideas, we get them all the time." But he always lets them down constructively. The 32-year-old co-founder and Managing Director of Silicon Badia says he tries to “balance the fine line of telling the entrepreneur that his or her idea is terrible, without being too rude or disrespectful of someone

who is actually trying to do something for themselves.” Of course, Zu'bi is empathetic because he's been through his share of the hustle and risk-taking. After all, venture capital is an odd business. It's a negative-return asset class on average, and it's widely believed that 90% of venture industry performance is generated by just the top 10

firms. Headquartered in Amman and New York, Silicon Badia is an emerging global alternative asset manager consisting of a network of venture capital funds that invest in early-and growth stage technology companies around the world, with a specific focus on the US and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Zu'bi founded the firm in 2012 with his uncle Fawaz Zu’bi, Jordan’s former Information and Communications Technology Minister and founder of VC firm Accelerator Technology Holdings, along with Emile Cubeisy, who managed the company's early-stage tech investments. Other MENA VCs invest in American-based startups too, but Silicon Badia says it is the first Arab VC with a fund dedicated to early stage tech startups in the US. About to hit its 50th investment milestone, the Badia Outreach Fund is a seed and early-stage fund that invests in US tech ventures that are utilizing technology to solve inefficiencies in traditional niche markets such as healthcare, finance, real estate and education. Silicon Badia also manages the Badia Impact Fund, which invests in Arab startups, with investors including the likes of Cisco, King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Eu-

IMAGE CREDIT SILICON BADIA

“WE ENCOURAGE ENTREPRENEURS TO FOCUS LESS ON BUILDING THE NEXT SHINY OBJECT, BUT INSTEAD TO BUILD COMPANIES THAT ARE SOLVING REAL PROBLEMS CURRENTLY FACING THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD.”

Profile for Entrepreneur Middle East

Entrepreneur Middle East November 2018 | Leading The Way  

On the cover: Dr. Hayat Sindhi on why the field of science needs female forerunners. This edition also includes interviews with Clarissa She...

Entrepreneur Middle East November 2018 | Leading The Way  

On the cover: Dr. Hayat Sindhi on why the field of science needs female forerunners. This edition also includes interviews with Clarissa She...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded