"I wanted to have a story for the Middle East, showing the world that there is interest in entrepreneurship and technology there. People perceive the Middle East as a land of wars, we just want to show the other side, the passion of the youth."
After having built up Woopra from a regional to an international success story, El Khoury, along with co-founders Habib Haddad of Yamli and Sami Shalabi from Google wants to use their perspectives as successful entrepreneurs to help amplify the possibilities for high tech entrepreneurship in the Middle East.
"This YallaStartup Weekend is different that any other StartupWeekends for different reasons. Entrepreneurs are coming from different countries. We organized a program called 'Geeks on a Bus' for people to come from Syria, Jordan and still working on the logistics of Palestinians."
The website for the event describes the itinerary that attendees will take.
"YallaStartup Weekend will group a highly motivated group of developers, graphic designers, product experts, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, artists and more to a 54 hour event that builds communities, companies and projects. The goal is very simple, everyone shows up the first day, form teams (teams could also be formed prior to the event), decide on a idea, start the mock up process, code and deliver prototype on the last day. During the weekend a lot of fun activities will, speakers, VC visit, music, food, and more."
Speakers include experts like Chris Messina from Google.
The event will be held at the Berytech business incubator. The complex sits on a hill in Makalles, overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean.
So, cliche-busting company-building on a hill overlooking one of the world's great cities, a place with sun, sand, a couple of years of peace and thousands of years of food. Sounds alright. You know. If you like that sort of thing.
Beirut photo by Austin Evan
We are a media partner for this event and use Woopra analytics; all that notwithstanding, it really does sound cool to me personally.