TechTown, Wayne State welcomes Tunisian entrepreneur, bio-tech start-up

A novice entrepreneur, a Muslim woman from Tunisia, with big dreams about the new economy is getting a comprehensive education at TechTown this summer.

Souad Rouis works is an associate professor in the Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax in Tunisia. She started working as an engineer in 1991 and received her PhD a decade later. In 2008 she co-founded BiotechRDP, a start-up that specialized in production and development of tools applied in human and animal diagnosis.

Last fall, Rouis won the first prize for the "high potential startup" in the U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity investor and entrepreneurship delegation to Tunisia. The federal government opened the doors for her to come to TechTown this summer to put her business education on the fast track.

"It's very important at different levels," Rouis says. "I get to meet people from businesses and figure out how to present a business plan. I came from a scientific background."

She is utilizing the educational and mentoring opportunities at TechTown and Wayne State University. She has also been doing a lot of networking at local business associations, such as the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce.

"Wayne State is doing significant work," says Faris Alami, one of her business coaches at TechTown. "The Arab American Chamber is putting her in front of a number of groups. And she wouldn't be here without the State Department."

Source: Souad Rouis, co-founder of BiotechRDP and Faris Alami, TechTown
Writer: Jon Zemke  

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