Entrepreneur says startups changing the landscape in the Middle East

Jul 7, 2014

A Washington-based tech entrepreneur says startup businesses are changing the landscape in the Middle East and other emerging markets.

Chris Schroeder was one of a group of CEOs who went to Iran to learn more about the startup climate there. Schroeder says access to technology is changing things in the Middle East. He estimates that within five years, 50 to 70 percent of young people will have smart phones.

"A new generation uses them and understands them the way the new generation does in the west. Everyone sees how other people live, everyone collaborates, they get inspired, they feel empowered, it’s an unbelievable dynamic that is happening across Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, no surprise it’s happening in the Middle East and Africa."

Schroeder says the startups fall in to three categories: improvisers, problem-solvers, and global players. He says political instability in the Middle East poses a challenge to startups, but technology is key to creating solutions.

Schroeder is the author of Startup Rising, about entrepreneurship in the Middle East.