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Looking Back with a Top 100 Global Finalist from EWC 2019

The Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) team caught up with Wael Kabli, CEO of Saudi startup Cura, about what they’ve been up to since they were a Top 100 Global Finalist in last year’s EWC, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them and some friendly advice to this year’s participants.

EWC team: So what’s Cura all about?

Wael Kabli: We’re a telehealth platform. We enable people to connect with doctors to get online consultations, diagnosis, prescriptions and wellbeing therapy sessions.

EWC team: How have you been getting on since last year’s EWC?

Wael Kabli: 2020, especially during COVID-19, has been a good time for us to show the people, the community and the country, that startups and especially digital healthcare startups are businesses that you can rely on.

We proved that we can actually bring value especially during lockdown, during curfews, when people were not able to get in touch with doctors. We were the window that people actually can reach out to doctors, specialists and practitioners from all over Saudi Arabia.

EWC team: What was the most significant impact of being a 2019 EWC competitor?

Wael Kabli: EWC was very beneficial to us.

It connected us to the international audience.

We have a better understanding of how businesses are run internationally. What are the different challenges that startups face all around the world? How do we rank ourselves as a startup? How do we rank our ecosystem among the other ecosystems around the world? What type of international standards do we need to adhere to? What international investors are looking for, what does the international audience look for?

We’ve learned how to overcome some of the challenges that we have been facing, just by connecting and networking with other startups from other industries and also from the same industry from different stages around the world.

This was actually great exposure for us.

EWC team: Has the EWC had an impact on the Saudi startup ecosystem?

Wael Kabli: The EWC was a good time to show what types of talent we have here in Saudi, how we are able to solve problems in a very innovative way and show the world that we have things to provide inside Saudi and also to give the world.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been very negative for individuals’ health and for the broader economy, has the fact that it shut down much human-to-human contact affected Cura?

Yes, it was a very good time to show that we can be a reliable service. It’s good for us to understand our limitations, what can we do, what we cannot do, and bring our value to the maximum.

EWC team: Tell us more about what kind of services you provide at Cura.

Wael Kabli: Our vision is to provide continuous care services, especially to have all of these different healthcare providers connected to each other.

For example, people can get an online diagnosis and then someone will come and collect blood samples, then a medication will be delivered to your doorstep. Then after that, your doctor will be following up with you.

So, connecting all of these different service providers in healthcare, bringing them on demand, bringing them in a very clinically safe way to everyone at home, and making sure that whenever it’s necessary you go to physical clinics, and when it’s not, you can stay at home.

So having that nice ecosystem is crucial for us and this is our vision for 2020 and 2021.

EWC team: Do you have any advice to this year’s EWC participants and anyone else looking to start and scale their own venture?

Wael Kabli: Usually my advice to any new startup, especially founders, is that you don’t need to be the smartest or the most experienced or the best guy in your startup or in the company because you cannot always be the best.

The most important thing: you need to bring in the most talented, smartest, experienced and powerful people, and convince them to work with you.

If you have that superpower to convince people to join your vision and to join your startup, this is the best thing you can do.

Because your aim is to build the most efficient, the most valuable or the most productive solution that you can bring to the market.

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