Innovation Has No Borders

Posted on January 30, 2017 by Evan Burfield

At 1776…

When we think of Iraq, we think of Rebeen Pasha, an American citizen who came to the United States in the 1990s as a refugee escaping Saddam Hussein.

Rebeen Pasha from Iraq

Rebeen graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a senior advisor to the United States Agency for International Development before going back to Iraq and rolling up his sleeves to launch the MyeDream incubator in Irbil in the Kurdistan Region. MyeDream is a 1776 partner and is building an ecosystem that helps inspired young people in Iraq to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

When we think of Iran, we think of Faty Amir Soleimani, the founder of Koodakoo and a competitor in the Challenge Cup 2016.

Faty Amir Soleimani from Iran

Faty received her master’s of business administration (MBA) from Columbia University in New York City before returning to Tehran to launch Koodakoo, which is a mix of BabyCenter.com and Diapers.com for parents in Iran.

When we think of Libya, we think of Abubaker Zarrug, the founder of Floos-e, another Challenge Cup 2016 startup competitor giving consumers in Libya access to mobile payments and banking.

Abubaker Zarrug from Libya

In Abubaker’s own words,

“In my country, the banking system is very undeveloped. So, our company helps customers to pay through their mobile phones wherever they are instead of paying in cash.”

When we think of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, we think of our colleagues, our startups, and our partners who work hard every day to solve tough problems to make people’s lives better.

At 1776, we do not judge people based on their religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or race. We support and work with them based on the potential of their ideas, their passion in overcoming obstacles, and their capacity to innovate in the face of chaos. We are as excited to help a founder in American city Boise, Idaho transform agriculture as we are to help a founder from Aleppo, Syria to improve education for children.

At 1776, we are a global community, and we stand together.

A startup competitor showcases his product to a judge at the Challenge Cup 2016 event in Dubai, which brought together top startups from across the MENA region.