Introducing the Iraqi Startup Scene to the World
When the Internet was first introduced as a business service in Iraq, it was met with some confusion. Today however, some years later, the people in the country are entering the tech startup scene at a professional level, launching businesses and advertising them through technology, and social media. Wishing to partake in the existing global tech websites dedicated to listing startups all around the world, Iraq including the Kurdistan region has joined the international startup scene.
The Iraqi tech scene includes startups in a variety of fields. From IT, design, e-commerce, to education and medicinal fields. Individuals in the area have also begun to tiptoe their way into Apple’s App store, by developing IOS applications. In addition, there are now Iraqi singers and comedians who promote their work through YouTube. The idea of “Public Figures” on social media is one that both Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq are definitely embracing. Technology in this sense has been a vital factor in generating a startup scene that deals with cultural and artistic aspects of life in the country.
Yet, however professional the scene may be, there is still little mention of it on an international level. Most websites do not have any data regarding startups in the area due to the fact that the local startup scene is a startup itself. An aspect of this is that startups that launch in the area focus on promoting their business through social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram, instead of setting up an official website of their own for the entire world to see. This is a trend that is starting to change. Since 2013 many IT service companies have launched around the country, offering assistance in creating web pages, and offering online marketing.
One of the few websites, if not the only tech based website that is including Iraq in its search list, is Angel.com. Angel.com is based in the US; it raises equity and debt investments for startups around the world. Three of the startups that it promotes are based in Iraq.
A general search on Google might suggest that the startup scene in Iraq is not worthy of mention, but hidden away there are a number of creative ideas and projects that are waiting to be noticed. In order to aid the development of the scene, Iraqi groups have held many Startup Weekend events, mainly in Baghdad and Erbil, where entrepreneurs and successful business men/women advised newcomers on means of success in the digital world.
Bite.Tech hopes to show you more of our ecosystem!
Lara Saeed is a graduate of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. She holds a BA degree in English Literature. During her four years in university, she was a staff writer for AUIS Voice, the first independent on campus newsletter in Iraq. When she is not busy reading, writing, or editing Lara likes to… read.