INJAZ Egypt announced on Thursday the top seven Start Up Egypt 2017 seed-funded teams in a celebration held at the British University in Egypt.
Out of hundreds of applications, 50 were accepted into the competition. After five months of waiting it out, 23 teams made it through to the next round and presented to a panel of judges on July 8 with the hope that they would enter the final phase, becoming one of 18 teams to participate in the Start Up Egypt trade fair. The fair highlights the end of the pre-incubation phase, the first phase of the program and the beginning of the final phase, incubation, which provides the winning teams with seed funding, legal registration, mentorship and the necessary guidance they need to start their business.
Seven teams came out as winners, with Boeing, MBC Hope and Orange providing the seed funding for the winning teams starting with a minimum of EGP 100,000 and a maximum of EGP 200,000. Winning ideas varied from a can recycling company that works on extracting pure aluminum, to another company that reflects the concept of creative interactive learning in proactive methodologies educating kids about coding and programming notions through a mobile app.
Another company offers the first dockless bike-sharing program in Egypt that aims at introducing bike-sharing as a reliable commuting service. The program also included a company that presented a platform that engages all the construction industry stakeholders in one place.
Start Up Egypt is one of the first entrepreneurship programs in the country, and is unique in its mentorship, support and seed funding awards with zero equity.
“When Dina El Mofty and I first co-founded INJAZ Egypt, we truly believed in the real potential of our country’s biggest asset, the Egyptian youth, who are willing to build a better future, that’s why our mission is to empower youth to enable them, recognize their skills and acquire new skills to become entrepreneurs capable of owning their own economic success through various programs, such as ‘Start Up Egypt’,” said Dahlia Helaly, Co-founder and Deputy CEO of INJAZ Egypt, during her speech at the final ceremony. “This year we witnessed outstanding ideas presented by a group of youth eager to create a better future for themselves and their country,” she added.
“We congratulate the winners today and all of the participants of Start Up Egypt 2017. The INJAZ Start Up Egypt program is a source of pride for Boeing as the initiative inspires entrepreneurship across the region and helps to create a sustainable economic environment,” said Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “By working with established incubators and partners, Start Up Egypt has nurtured a wide range of innovative ideas from students across the region and helped them to take the crucial step in launching a company,” continued Dunn.
“Competitions such as Start Up Egypt are [essential because they] allow youth in this region to learn, grow and achieve in the field of entrepreneurship. Along with INJAZ Egypt, we want to ensure that Arab youth are given the opportunity to fulfill their utmost potential by giving them a platform to express their ideas and exercise their innovative minds,” said Mariam Farag, Head of Corporate Responsibility at MBC Group.
All students left the day as winners as they were given a second opportunity to win additional funding by gaining votes through social media and during the event.