It ended up being an evening full of surprises.
When Adnan first checked with me about my availability on the 9th for Dubai Tech Nights I thought we were talking about a small gathering. So when I walked in at 5:45pm after following some really colorful directions to Room 212 at the RIT campus at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), I wasn’t too surprised to see 3 odd souls waiting for the event to start.
Then in walked Mohammed Alzubi, the organizer of the event and the man responsible for raising a tech VC fund at DSO and I knew that this was going to be an interesting event and Adnan had done me a favor by roping me in as a speaker. As Mohammed put it in the first 3 minutes of our conversation, he had done ok with one of his three ventures down in the valley and it was enough.
By the time we hit six fifteen, most of the 61 confirmed participants had already arrived. Like most technology industry events, the agenda was short, sweet and to the point. Within minutes we were done with the pleasantries, done with introductions and the motivation behind DTN and were on with the first speaker, who turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant MENA head for Western Digital, the storage company, who took what could have been a very boring corporate pitch into a very effective and interesting introduction to the Green initiative at Western Digital.
Next was a Dubai based stealth startup by the name of Infinitec. Keeping with the ground rules shared by Mohammed at the start, the infinitec team opened up their confidential presentation and demo for the group gathered at DTN but unfortunately despite the interesting work done by them and the even more interesting pictures taken by us, we have to wait till 1st of March to tell you what they are upto. Ofcourse if you were there at DTN, you would already know. (If you weren’t, don’t miss the next DTN event on the second Tuesday of each month)
The only thing I am allowed to tell you is that you will know what they are upto and will even be able to buy what they are selling on 1st of March 2010. Just remember the names Infinitec, Ahmed Zahran and David and the date 1st of March. .
Ahmed’s presentation, the reaction of the audience and the intensity of some of the questions reminded me of our very own PASHA startup insider series. It was really good to see the same restless, let me change this world for better mindset across the individuals in the room. It was even more refreshing to see the age mix (from the young to distinguished grey haired professors) and the diversity (from students to venture capitalists). I know that Adnan had been looking for this scene for the last two years. I was really happy to stumble across it with him.
More coverage on DTN can be found here