Mohamed Amine Belarbi , CEO & Founder of Gulf Elite Magazine , Interviewing Khalid Machchate :
In this new series, we will be highlighting various young entrepreneurs from the Arab World who are passionate about technology and making a difference. We caught up with Khalid Machchate, a young Moroccan entrepreneur, changemaker, Science-Technology-Art enthusiast and big time curious during the last hackathon at NYU Abu Dhabi.
1. How did you decide to jump on the entrepreneurial wagon?
The main reason I decided to become an entrepreneur was to impact people’s lives and make a difference in my society. But before doing so, I had to be the change I wanted to see in the world, so I have been working on developing my self and my skills for the better half of my life. I learned programming at a young age, then either co-founded or worked with organizations that did your average charity activities. I engaged in some side jobs as well to get me through middle and high school, but none of these endeavours had any long term sustainable impact, which pushed me to follow a different path.
I’ve started questioning my ways, my soul craved more, I had internships that made me want to be more than just an employee. I’ve been managing and leading several teams in different projects my whole life, and thanks to a final leap of faith, I launched my first startup “Let’s Study”.
2. What projects are you involved in currently?
My Entrepreneurial work can be summarized in one sentence: Using Technology to solve Social and Environmental issues.
At the time being, I’m involved in 3 startups:
1. Let’s Study : A web and mobile marketplace for trainees and trainers in all fields, close to their location for offline sessions. It includes a training management system as well .
2. SOS Santé : A mobile app and IoT Component for road safety, locating accidents and calling the closest emergency service, documenting and archiving your state after the accident as well as your medical records and current medications.
3. Cardboard Progress : A Virtual Reality Educational program designed as a game for children to help them learn through exploration.
3. How do you manage your time given all your involvements?
I only have one word for that : Prioritize!
You might lose a few feathers in the process of learning how to prioritize, I know I did! But that is the ultimate goal for an entrepreneur. Getting very little sleep is a common denominator for entrepreneurs as well, but try as much as you can to get your 5-6 hours (yup not 8) a night, preferably as early as 11:00 pm. Use a calendar and a notepad app for your schedule and for note keeping purposes .
4. What’s your secret to success?
My secret is the fact that I never waited for anyone (Investor, developer, marketer…) to start my entrepreneurial journey! I learned coding online by myself, I developed and launched my website without external help, I learned marketing by doing, and went from there! You only need the will, perseverance, and trust that “You Can Do It!” , Whatever “It” might be !
5. What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs?
My advice to fellow entrepreneurs, especially to those who are just getting started:
1. Stop talking, start doing!
2. Look for opportunities as hard as you can , exploit them (and I mean every aspect of them!) and leverage them to get other, hopefully greater, opportunities.
3. Choose the people surrounding you well! Or as my mentor calls it, carefully pick “Your Tribe”. The greater they are the greater you become.
And finally: Persevere! Keep your goals between your eyes and strive. Entrepreneurship is a hard path, so push forward with all you have! You’ll definitely get where you want to be ultimately.
6. What’s next for you?
Several aspects of my services are still in progress, but after my team and I finish the upgrades we’ll be launching the 2.0 version of “Let’s Study”, with awesome features and a much cooler design. I’ll be writing a book about my personal and entrepreneurial journey beginning 2017, and obviously, will be developing my ventures and reaching out for the stars!