Womentum Series: Episode 2 – CO-FOUNDER DYNAMITE

Womentum Series: Episode 2 – CO-FOUNDER DYNAMITE

We have a leaderboard where we score our sales every month,
and we broke a record for the quarter and for the month. We’ve been planning for so long and preparing so many things and then suddenly to see all the hard work and to see that
people actually accept it. We asked the founders to reflect on the nitty gritty of
their journey so far. The challenges they faced and how they overcame them. I’ve been working on this in a very controlled and safe
environment. To actually commit to doing this and, sort of, in real life,
which I have been doing, but it feels a lot more real now. My big achievement is that I convinced two solid experienced
founders, with multi-gender and experiences, adding the value to me
and to the company. You guys, this is what I live for. This is the stuff that makes entrepreneurship magic. First lesson we conducted with the teams was the impact
logic session. We actually aim for the ventures to work on their vision,
yeah. Sascha. Sascha. Sascha. Sascha was our drill sergeant. Hold up! Let me tell you about Sascha. So I’m in Berlin looking for the perfect partner to run this
program with us, and the day of my flight back, I heard about a company
called Impact Hub. I showed up unannounced and I ended up waiting an hour and a
half to meet with this guy Sascha. I pitched him womentum ​–​ they were on board and boom,
dream team was assembled. it just goes to show if you go after what you want and you impose yourself a little bit then anything can happen This is how we make history everybody. You can clearly see like, ok, what kind of change do I want
to have on either society or the market? First you will save the water resources, or all resources
you need ​–​ energy and water. When you’re thinking of business, you would think of one
main impact or many different impacts. So when I started to look at solutions to make workplaces
more empathetic, when I went back home to the Middle East, I realized we’re
not even there yet. We don’t even have basic perks and benefits and we have no
understanding of disengagement. Enter bosslady Julia. What’s your differentials? Why would they be using your
product instead of the alternative they might have? Julia is a former entrepreneur and VC from Brazil, and she
just schooled everybody on their business model canvases. Julia was really instrumental in challenging each of the
company’s assumptions about their business model and financial plan. In the beginning it’s quite difficult to accept criticism
and you are so convinced about your own product that nothing is better and it’s the
best version of itself. Usually I am the boss so nobody questions what I want or do
or say I feel challenged. You come in thinking that you’re solid and you think that
you have all the answers figured out and then you realize that no, that’s not true. So we do things differently out in the Middle East, and we
needed to stress that doing business in emerging markets takes a lot of
skill. So I brought Amira, our media strategist and former
entrepreneur herself, to discuss what it’s like growing a business in an emerging
market. When you think of scaling, of course it would be great to
scale regionally and globally, but you can also scale locally in an amazing way – in an
exponential way. Maybe personally for my generation there’s a big thing of
like, if the system’s broken, I’m going to do something outside
of it. But that’s not how things change. I think as entrepreneurs there’s also like a great
opportunity and responsibility to work within the system sort of in a more innovative way. I introduced the feature of you can book us on the phone and
I put a phone number there. The sales like tripled immediately. Thank you guys so much for listening. Thank You. This is not your regular accelerator. Most startups fail because of human error, and we introduced
something called EQ sessions. EQ sessions are emotional intelligence sessions. Sessions that train you on soft skills and make you look at
you as a founder and how you interact with the world and with your journey. The first of these is co-founder dynamics. Conflict arises. It may not have arisen yet. It may have but you haven’t necessarily addressed it and so
you don’t think it’s there. But it’s something that’s absolutely unavoidable for all of
us when we’re working with another person. So the types of co-founder teams that we have in this group
are very diverse. We have couples. We have friends. We have relatives. The fear that your co-founder might go somewhere is actually
something that ends up being more toxic than addressing the issue
immediately. You can’t build a beautiful house on shitty foundations. The first thing I want you guys to do is I want you to think
about your co-founders, to look at your co-founders. Think about the different way that they view life and
acknowledge – use compassion and empathy – to understand that it’s ok that they think differently and they see the
world differently. First of all, you’re a founding team. I’m gonna call you out
on it – you work, you don’t. It’s so easy to look at Ingi and to think, she has a
fallback job. She makes money. What is Ingi thinking? Ingi’s thinking, this girl, she has all the time in the
f**king world to give to this business, and I’m working so that I put money into this business. And she will not understand my sacrifice. So in my mind, I was thinking so he’s a part-timer, she’s a
part-timer. I’m already having hard times with Ingi and I cannot even
talk about it. I didn’t have the courage to open the subject beforehand. I
waited for something to come up. She gives me the creepiest, the creepiest – no, no – the
creepiest messages like, “We need to talk.” And I feel like, are we breaking up? I didn’t understand why she was applying to another job and
her mindset was, well we need income. If we’re not getting investment someone has to put money
into – it’s for the business. And I had no clue. Nouf, you mentioned also to us that you don’t want to take
your dad’s money anymore. You want to raise from investors. You want financial independence. I want to be so independent as he is. I’m so jealous of his
success. Just become the best version of yourself. It’s great to have
him as your idol, but he’s different, you’re different. He’s from a different time, you’re from a different time. His skill set is different. But think of yourself as yourself. You and Abdalla? Okay. We got Abdalla and Haurga, who got to sit back to back and
were willing to share their founding story, each from their perspective in front of the other founders. I heard already about Abdalla Odat as a software engineer. In the same company? In the same company yes. He told me about his – actually he started already and he
built this kind of system about the AI and the machine learning. The idea came to my mind because I’m every day seeing the
news that someone raised a fund, someone raised a fund, someone raised a fund for this idea. Why are we sitting now? Now is the time, let’s do it. The next day he asked me if I would like to join. I had a doubt that she will accept or no because there’s no
salary and she know there is no salary. She know that at the end of the month she will be
struggling. What he actually doesn’t know, it’s now time for confessing. Actually, I got a job offer and I rejected it completely. I do suffer with him. I think we are going through similar situations I know that he has way more load. I love being now an entrepreneur and I wouldn’t give it up
so easily. But if it really has no chance, I wouldn’t love to see him
going down, not so much about me. Sadeed to me has always been a bit of the odd couple. I was really surprised to see the depth of what they shared. The whole setting makes it like you’re having counseling,
marriage counseling. And then bam – emotional disruption. It’s not just that we related to everything, again, but it
was also realizing that this is very, very important and very dangerous if you don’t fix it head
on from the beginning. Especially that we’re best friends. So I’m a sole founder, and I think that I’ve been
apprehensive about taking on somebody and working with
someone for a reason becasue I definitely need support and every day I’m becoming more
aware of where the gaps are for me. So after a grueling week, emotionally, physically and
mentally exhausting, we had to let loose. And what better way to do that in Berlin than… Boat day! It’s really interesting that we’re here in Berlin together
because if we were anywhere in the Arab world together I think we would probably not feel as unified or feel that
we have as much in common as we actually do. The first week ended with an awesome boat trip, but next
week is going to be a lot more tough. It’s the first pitch event of Womentum.

Comments (2)

  1. The rollercoaster of entrepreneurship…

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