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Commercial Entrepreneur Fashion & Apparel Global Technology Entrepreneur

Technology Becomes Fashion at Telekom Fashion Fusion Awards Ceremony in Berlin

I had the pleasure of being invited to Telekom’s Fashion Fusion Challenge closing ceremony in Berlin. And what I have discovered later to be more of an honour was spending time and enjoying a thoughtful conversation with Hans-Christian Schwingen, Chief Brand Officer at Telekom who won the CMO of the year award in 2016!

What was most impressive for me as an entrepreneur is seeing Antje Hundhausen of Telekom, being introduced as the Founder of Fashion Fusion – I know how sensitive companies are in calling a staff a “Founder” of something, so it was good to see an example where “Intrapreneurship” goes beyond lip service.

The same also happened with the Founders of “Electronic Beats” despite being staff on Telekom payroll, they maintained a long term “Founder” status of the business division. It also seemed like they had to “compete” internally for Telekom resources which was pretty close to how my world of “entrepreneurship” works!

You can find more information about the impressive projects that won everywhere, but I’m sharing my personal reflections and time spent at the event.

Network Nerves

I like to start at the end, that’s why Network Nerves landed most of my attention, probably also because it was the most visually active project – and if I want to be more honest,  probably because it had the most attractive project owners as well! – Network Nerves uses “Smart Textile” to empower performers to express themselves on stage, the idea is great, the team intended to use a liquid for illumination but ran into “Mechanical” challenges so ended up using leds – the team didn’t seem to be happy about how it turned out to be. As an Engineer, I promised to look at the issue and offer support on resolving it, the market is niche and tricky, but this could be something.

Project Love

Project Love left me in awe, at the beginning it seemed very simple and basic business model of providing “PLus Size” with wardrobe options with a better fashion taste, but I was impressed to see their 3D scanner technology, where they can produce a 3D version of you through just an App and a scanning booth, then, you are able to pick the items that would fit it through the app, making it easier for them to identify specific size and fashion needs. On a proper scale, this project could be a winner too.

Smart Orthosis

How about you get a vibration everytime your posture is not right? Sounds a bit creepy, but Smart Orthosis offers a vest with a digital neuro-network that analyzes your posture through bluetooth connection to your phone and upon detecting a harmful posture, you get a vibration to adjust your posture. It seems to have benefits in theory, I’m not sure in practice whether you’d like to be vibrated into when your posture is not alright. Probably I would like to try that for a day and judge by the level of comfort later.

The sweetest thing at the end of the ceremony was that my friend and DJ from Canada, Sarah Barrable, managed with her smooth diplomacy and leadership skills to take over the DJ table and produced some awesome dance Music for the whole crowd! For which all our group, event staff, attendees and remaining Telekom staff enjoyed sharing and connecting..

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Entrepreneur Global Stories

Kolikoo.com: An Egyptian Entrepreneur Going Global

While some people lead their entire lives with boxes of doubt depriving their ideas of sufficient room to grow, others simply refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. A well thought of idea is worth nurturing, and all it takes is the proper soil to grow. And that’s why Egyptian entrepreneur Ibrahim Khalil, co-founder and CEO of Kolikoo.com, was persistent enough to locate the proper soils for his project to prosper, even if it meant taking it overseas.

With a rich e-commerce experience in Souq.com, Ibrahim was well equipped to take his knowledge to a younger market where both, consumers and business owners are in need for what he has to offer.

Eastern Europe E-commerce Market

According to the Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report released in 2013, the e-commerce market in Eastern Europe has witnessed an average growth rate of 35.7% over the year 2012, which ranks it the strongest growing e-commerce market in Europe. The report also announced that the annual growth of e-commerce sales in Eastern Europe outpaced Western Europe by 13 percentage points in 2012.

“There is a lot of potential in the Eastern European e-commerce market. First of all, only 27 million of 162 million inhabitants are shopping online – a percentage bound to increase once internet penetration is picking up pace. As demand will rise across this region, logistic services will improve, enabling retailers to serve also the less urbanized areas”, says Wijnand Jongen, Chair Statistical Board Ecommerce Europe.

A Project with Potential

Kolikoo.com is the first social e-commerce network in Bosnia & Herzegovina, a place where businesses and individuals can offer their products for sale in a social interface, combining web shop and social network business models into one business model.

Although Khalil, and co-founder Amir Ahmetovic, have been working on Kolikoo.com since 2012, it had an impressive boost as the winner of the Balkan Venture Forum which took place in Sarajevo on May 16th, 2014, and was considered as one of the most promising startups in the region, which qualified the team to participate in the European Venture Summit in Dusseldorf in December 2014.

Future Plans

According to the 2013 Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report, a double digit growth rate above 20% in Eastern Europe was expected for 2013, though this growth rate is estimated to reach a climax by 2017.

Meanwhile, Khalil plans on scaling out within the next 5 years through Europe, with Turkey, Czech and Italy being on top of the expansion list. He is also currently in the process of securing his first round of investments for expanding.

It is worthy to mention that Turkey has topped the 5 emerging countries in % growth, according to the 2013 Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report, with a 75% growth rate.

With an Egyptian e-commerce market that’s currently flooded with activity, it brings us pride to see an Egyptian entrepreneur penetrate a new fresh market with knowledge and experience obtained on Egyptian lands.