On the 21st of October, Orange Corners Baghdad held yet again a graduation ceremony for the startups graduating of its 3rd cohort.
In KAPITA’s headquarters in Baghdad Al-Mansour, we were joined by a number of guests of honor to celebrate the successful end of the third cohort after the start of the program in April.
In celebration of the tremendous work and development the startups have achieved in their journey with our program, we will share with you highlights of the event and the words of our valued guests:
H.E. Mr. Michel Rentenaar, The Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador
Mr. Christian Becker, Consul for Political, Economic and Humanitarian Affairs at the German Embassy
Mr. Theodore A. Clovas - Director of Orange Corners Africa and Middle East Program (Virtually)
Mr. Omar Faleh - Director of Communications and Public Relations at Asiacell (Virtually)
We were very honored to host his excellency, Mr. Michel Rentenaar, The Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador, at the graduation ceremony for the third cohort of Orange Corners Baghdad.
The ceremony started with a word from His Excellency: “ Iraq is not an easy place to start a business. We talk about this on a daily basis. We try to understand the many challenges you face. Iraq is a place of not what you know but who you know. But it’s also a place where some things are possible that are not possible somewhere else. That’s why we chose it to implement Orange Corners here.
Cooperation between two startups or two friends or even two countries show better results. Together you are stronger than alone. And that’s how you overcome challenges.”
We thank the Dutch Embassy for its major role in supporting KAPITA with implementing the 6 months incubation program, Orange Corners Baghdad.
Following his honors, Mr. Christian Becker, Consul for Political, Economic and Humanitarian Affairs at the German Embassy, took the stage as he again congratulated the graduates and mentioned: “What I really like is that most of your ideas are not only smart thinking in terms of business, they also help tackle social problems. Iraq needs such solutions driven by its youth. Iraq is entering a new phase. And you are the country’s best bet for a bright future.”
And ended his speech by hoping from the graduates to “serve as a role model to many of your friends, who will maybe one day also start their own business”
The ceremony continued with a word by Mr. Theodore A. Klouvas, Global Program Manager of Orange Corners Africa & Middle East.
He mentioned in his speech: “Today when you graduate, today your journey starts, we have provided you with everything you need to make the most desirable and wanted product or service not only in Iraq or the Middle East but in the world.
This journey is very hard and you might feel lonely or frustrated but it’s a time for you to have a real conversation with yourself and negotiate with your destiny. It will require you to wake up early and sleep late and make many mistakes but it will be very rewarding in the end.”
He also highlighted: “ We’ve recently started the Orange Corners Alumni Community, and with 1500 brothers and sisters from across the globe. We created this family so you can connect and exchange business opportunities with each other. And understand there is an opportunity for you if you go to Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and soon Jordan by being in a bigger community of alumni”
And he ended by wishing the best of luck to graduates.
The last word at our ceremony was for Mr. Omar Faleh, Director of Communications and Public Relations at Asiacell.
Mr. Omar spoke about the cooperation between Asiacell and KAPITA to support the Dutch government in making Orange Corners a success.
And he added: "Project owners will go to the Iraqi market and carry on their activities. We hope that all the young people in the Iraqi street will seek or follow the example of these successful young people who are with us at the ceremony."
He stressed the role of Asiacell in supporting the youth and their ideas, with thanks to the organizers of this celebration, and wished the graduates a nice evening.
Last but not least, the graduates took part in sharing some words to the audience about their startups and the journey they experienced in the program. How much did the program help shape their business and what were the best lessons they’ve learned.
We concluded the Orange Corners Graduation Ceremony by handing over certificates. His Excellency Michael Rentnaar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, presented graduation certificates to the participants of the Orange Corners Baghdad Incubation Program.
About Orange Corners Baghdad:
Orange Corner’s Baghdad is an initiative of the Dutch Embassy in Baghdad. The economic priorities of the Netherlands in Iraq are agriculture, water and entrepreneurship. KAPITA supports the community of young entrepreneurs in Baghdad by building youth capacity, and developing successful businesses. We incubate 20 startups for six months: starting with providing a co-working space, training and developing their business, events and masterclasses, a positive environment and an opportunity for investment.