ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iranian Kurd [Rojhilati] recently participated in an event in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he presented a new social media marketing concept which he said would drastically increase the reach of advertisements while minimizing costs.
On Sep. 29, Azad Kalhor packed up his bags at his home in the city of Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, and with his last few dollars, ventured to the UAE’s Dubai with his associate, Tahir Qureishi, who presented the idea in English during the event held the next day.
The Falling Walls Lab event was organized by and held at the Canadian University Dubai with the support of the Falling Walls Foundation. Participants were handed a certificate for their efforts in presenting their idea within a three-minute time-limit.
The Falling Walls Lab is “a challenging interdisciplinary platform that invites talented academics, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world,” read the certificate of participation Kalhor received after the event.
In 2017, Kalhor presented his idea at Tehran’s Amirkabir Technology University where he was singled out for the value of his work. From there, Amirkabir submitted Kalhor’s name for consideration with the Falling Walls Lab.
To would-be entrepreneurs and individuals with bright ideas seeking contracts with investors and tech businesses, such an event, heavily attended by industry experts, decision makers, and scientists, proves to be a major opportunity.
Speaking with Kurdistan 24, Kalhor explained: “my project is in the area of marketing,” and specifically “finding a new way advertising logos and brands on social media.” He could not go into further details.
Highlighting the size of the industry and the millions of dollars businesses invest in it, Kalhor says using his idea, he “would be able to advertise brands to millions of people simultaneously with minimal expenses.”
Unfortunately, he added, he did not have the financial means to support himself to stay in Dubai long enough to visit companies that had inquired about his work and asked to meet.
Kalhor’s associate, Qureishi, who is fluent in English, was the presenter at the event. They have been working closely in the past years to be able to communicate the idea effectively.
“I needed to patent my work to make sure I could prove it was my intellectual property,” and during the trip to Dubai “I was able to receive a document [participation certificate] to have that kind of proof,” he said.
Kalhor said that he had applied for visas to various Western countries to further showcase his idea, but had run into paperwork complications, stalling progress in that regard.
“Since the representatives of major social media companies [unlike the UAE] don’t exist in my country, I cannot present my project to them,” he said. “If I could have stayed here [in Dubai] for another ten days, I would have been able to negotiate and acquire the best contract for my work.”
“I will not give up,” he stated, despite the hardships and the quality of life in Iran, for Kurds and minorities in general.
Editing by Nadia Riva