RIYADH: As the Middle East region is undertaking major policy reforms, entrepreneurs looking to set up businesses are today able to apply for a license more quickly than in other places, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur said.
“The regional policies have been completely reformed; new agencies support new businesses by providing visas,” said JF Gauthier, the founder and CEO of Startup Genome, a leading research and policy advisory organization, having more than 100 clients across six continents in 45 countries.
His company is attending the GEC 2022 to learn and connect with potential Saudi clients, “as the Kingdom has the largest market and best regulatory environment in the region.”
Genome, which is focused on understanding which startup ecosystems are growing faster, or have better access to talent and funding, combines these policies to help their clients.
Gauthier told Arab News, on the sidelines of Global Entrepreneurship Congress, currently taking place in Riyadh, that the company has been studying the region and, in particular, Saudi Arabia for some time, and it currently works in several other areas, including Bahrain and the UAE.
With its attendance at the region’s leading event GEC, Genome looks forward to building relationships and forming agreements with Saudis. “We have a lot of other potential clients, and we’re happy to help even when we don’t charge anything. It’s about helping.”
As a startup, he said Genome primarily focuses on learning from its clients and combining different results to form new policies that aim to advise businesses.
“We quickly realized that learning through our clients is the best way to really accumulate knowledge,” Gauthier said.
Calling themselves an “arbitrage of knowledge,” he said they want to help clients by asking, “what did you do that had such great results? How did you codify this policy,” and then comparing them with others.
Gauthier concluded by pointing out that today there are so many social network apps, marketing sites and beyond, and data analytics, “so the cycle is always built on innovation, and it’s accelerating.”