Christopher M. Schroeder is a U.S.-based entrepreneur and venture investor. In 2010, he wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post about start-ups in Dubai and the Middle East, and was subsequently invited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office on entrepreneurship to judge a start-up competition in Cairo one week before Tahrir Square. He is on the boards of advisors of the American University of Cairo School of Business and regional start-up resources Wamda and Oasis500. He lives in Washington, DC.
About Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East
Despite the world’s elation at the Arab Spring, shockingly little has changed politically in the Middle East; even frontliners Egypt and Tunisia continue to suffer repression, fixed elections, and bombings, while Syria descends into civil war. But in the midst of it all, a quieter revolution has begun to emerge, one that might ultimately do more to change the face of the region: entrepreneurship.
As a seasoned angel investor in emerging markets, Christopher M. Schroeder was curious but skeptical about the future of investing in the Arab world. Travelling to Dubai, Cairo, Amman, Beirut, Istanbul, and even Damascus, he saw thousands of talented, successful, and intrepid entrepreneurs, all willing to face cultural, legal, and societal impediments inherent to their worlds. Equally important, he saw major private equity firms, venture capitalists, and tech companies like Google, Intel, Cisco, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and PayPal making significant bets, despite the uncertainty in the region. Here, he marries his own observations with the predictions of these tech giants to offer a surprising and timely look at the second stealth revolution in the Middle East—one that promises to reinvent it as a center of innovation and progress.