Daily News Egypt sat down with Intel Software Academic Programme Manager Paul Guermonprez as he talked about the field of entrepreneurship in Egypt and shared his insights on how the government can invigorate this field in the coming years.
Do you think that Egypt was sluggish in its steps joining the entrepreneurship field?
Not really, it takes time for every country, France for instance didn’t have lot of start-ups 20 years ago unlike now, so each country has its own path for development, perhaps now is the right time for Egypt. Furthermore, every five years there is a new technological revolution, so after mobile phones we now have the Internet of Things (IoT) which is a new battle; it starts from zero in each country as to find its own path, so Egypt is now in this new revolution and may propose something interesting.
Do you think that there are enough investors who would be willing to invest in Egyptian start-ups?
Not enough in Egypt probably, but it can grow very quickly as there is money in the region. Creating new small companies is not that expensive as with $1m, 20 companies can be created and out of those 20, there is definitely some that will succeed.
How can the field of entrepreneurship have a positive impact on the Egyptian market?
It’s always difficult to evaluate that, as small companies usually don’t make a lot of money and can hardly have a tangible effect on the economy, but in fact from time-to-time, some technology can be found to be interesting for an industry. So the communication between small and big companies is very important at this point.
What can the government do to simplify the process for entrepreneurs and widen their markets?
It can provide a law that says that 5% or 10% of contracts of big companies must go to small companies, that way the government will make sure that there is a market for small companies. It is called the small business act in the US, and we have something like that in a lot of countries in Europe, it really helps a lot. Also a building can be created for small companies that don’t have good financial capacities, where the local government can provide them with small offices. This is something we do in France as renting is very expensive so providing young entrepreneurs with help, motivation and support is always important.
What does Intel provide in order to support entrepreneurs in Egypt and the Middle East?
We provide free hardware in some universities and provide technical training for university students as well as professors. Recently, we have created a one day workshop for 35 professors in Egypt who were coming from the highest ranked universities in the country. The workshop basically trained them on how to engage students in the Internet of Things (IoT) concept and also to stimulate scientific innovation in Egypt.
How does Intel evaluate Egyptian talent in the technological sector?
Egypt has a number of elite and super excellent engineers who can work anywhere in the world, but you don’t have a lot or enough people like that. There is a number of young geniuses that can be found in different cities in the country, so improving the education in the public sector and motivating young people to study science and technology can really help in increasing their number.