Dec. 22, 2020

The emergent Arabian startup scene

The emergent Arabian startup scene

Gary Sheynkman, a first generation immigrant (to the US) from Kiev, Ukraine living in Dubai who runs Leyden Ventures, interviewed by futurist Trond Arne Undheim. In this conversation, they talk about Arabian Tech. The Arabian startup scene. Accelerators...


Gary Sheynkman, a first generation immigrant (to the US) from Kiev, Ukraine living in Dubai who runs Leyden Ventures, interviewed by futurist Trond Arne Undheim. 

In this conversation, they talk about Arabian Tech. The Arabian startup scene. Accelerators and VC in the Middle East. Digital transformation of Arabic private equity approaches. Building a startup ecosystem from scratch. The Area 2071 initiative. The Middle East of the future.

The takeaway is that the future of Arabian tech looks promising, although still nascent. The startup ecosystem in the Middle East will undoubtedly emerge strongly as traditional industries start to expire and a transition will occur. For now, the Middle East of the future is a vision, a reality in the hands of literally a handful of entrepreneurs in a small subset of cities across the region, most notably in Dubai. Don’t count them out. Also don’t assume it will happen overnight.

After listening to the episode, check out Leyden VC as well as Gary's social media profile:

The show is hosted by Podbean and can be found at Futurized.co. Additional context about the show, the topics, and our guests, including show notes and a full list of podcast players that syndicate the show can be found at https://trondundheim.com/podcast/. Music: Electricity by Ian Post from the album Magnetism. 

For more about the host, including media coverage, books and more, see Trond Arne Undheim's personal website (https://trondundheim.com/) as well as the Yegii Insights blog (https://yegii.wpcomstaging.com/). Undheim has published two books this year, Pandemic Aftermath and Disruption Games. To advertise or become a guest on the show, contact the podcast host here. If you like the show, please subscribe and consider rating it five stars.

Gary Sheynkman

General Partner, Co-founder, Leyden Ventures

Gary solves the knowledge gap between software engineers and traditional management, having held roles across product management and corporate development throughout his career. Residing in Dubai, he currently works across early stage venture and public sectors. Gary has invested in 30+ early stage companies over the past 3 years and led the launch and day-to-day management of Techstars Dubai in Partnership with GINCO (“TSDXB”).

Prior to launching TSDXB, Gary was consulting with The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (“TEO”) on development of Area 2071, a new business cluster within Emirates Towers focused on creative collisions between startups and large corporates.

Prior to working with TEO, Gary was advising Dubai Holding on the spin up of their corporate venture initiatives working closely with HE Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation. Prior to that, Gary worked with Abu Dhabi Media to create a new digital product subsidiary, Advance, where he led product management, organizational structuring, vendor management, and new platform integrations in his advisory capacity to the CEO.

Previously Gary was the Video Technology Product Lead at VICE Media, the global youth media brand owned by Disney and 20th Century Fox and Director of Ad-Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of Carrot Creative, the digital agency which counts Jaguar, Rolex, and other marquee brands as clients. Until April 2012 Gary was serving as Director of Corporate Development for Piksel, the video technology firm behind BBC iPlayer in the UK and ATT U-Verse in the US.

Gary graduated from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in the US.