Not only was Tarig El-Sheikh, a Dubai-based serial entrepreneur, the first entrepreneur to join AstroLabs Dubai's Accelerator Programme in order to develop his latest business idea, but he managed to sell that start-up only eight months after the beta launch in January 2015.
Beneple, a free online platform to help start-ups and SMEs manage all their HR needs, was recently acquired by a Dubai-based financial services group for an undisclosed amount.
At the recent launch event of AstroLabs Dubai’s new space in Jumeriah Lake Towers, Louis Lebbos and Muhammed Mekki, the tech hub’s co-founders, were glad to present the acquisition of Beneple as the hub’s first success story.
However, that is not the first entrepreneurial success for El-Sheikh.
Istashir, a corporate finance and management consulting firm he set up in the UAE in 2011, was acquired two years and three months after it was established.
His second UAE-based venture, Knot Standard, an e-commerce custom menswear company, developed a strong online presence and opened branch offices in New York City and Washington DC in just a few years.
As a trustee board member for Reach for Children, an non-government organisation that administers humanitarian aid to children in Africa, El-Sheikh spends a few weeks out of every year teaching young orphans in Kenya (2012, 2015), Uganda (2013, 2015) and Tanzania (2014).
Last, but not least, he advises and occasionally invests in start-ups that are looking for help and guidance.
Before entering the tech start-up world, El-Sheikh had a successful career in the finance industry serving as a senior investment banker at Macquarie Capital and Lehman Brothers in London.
He holds a MBioch in Molecular Biochemistry from Oxford University and a Distinction MSc in Finance from Cass Business School in London.
Without any hesitation, this week’s Entrepreneur of the Week accolade goes to Tarig El-Sheikh.
For information, tips and advice on setting up a new business or insights from those who have taken the leap into the world of entrepreneurship, click on the Arabian Business StartUp section.
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