by Kameel Vohra*

The Arab Innovation Academy was an intense 10-day course, packed with 150 students from two dozen different countries. All on a crash course to be marketers, business and technology leaders. The course itself taught what it takes to actually run a startup, but it was very clear that the students learnt plenty more from the event. 

Whilst there are lots of off-menu things taught by the mentors, the most important lessons are the ones they gained through their personal journeys over the 10 days – where the students individually grew and gained real-life insights for themselves.

Irrespective of the roles they chose there were real-world skills they would rapidly develop. CEO’s acquired the leadership skills to navigate various personalities and team conflicts. CMO’s had to understand what market research & validation means in practice. CBO’s discovered what’s involved in getting customer commitments to go from handshakes to paper. They all (including design and technology officers) got first-hand experience working under industry professionals.

Instead of hearing it from me, here’s a short video with views from the students themselves:

About Kameel

Kameel Vohra currently leads Advanced Experience Planning for Dell Displays and Peripherals, where he is responsible for delivering technology strategies for next-generation products. He has launched his own hotel, business centers, distribution companies and fintech businesses. He speaks at events, mentors start-ups, and provides practical guidance on how to start-up, deliver and market killer products.