The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) has accepted 10 startups for the first phase of the START contest. This competition aims to support entrepreneurs and emerging companies in collaboration with Etisalat Egypt. TIEC is affiliated with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
TIEC launched this contest in May to receive entrepreneurs and creative thinkers. The centre accepted Dorak, a smart application, which helps both clients and businesses save time while waiting in a queue or for an appointment. Companies using Dorak can alert the waiting clients as to what time their appointment will be in real time, rather than a client hanging around aimlessly in a waiting room when they could be doing other things until the appointment time.
TIEC also accepted Ingraph.me, a new approach to networking based on interest and skills. The app connects people based on their interests across items such as events, public figures, organisations, news, products, services, and even jobs. Ingraph.me keeps the client updated and in the loop with an “info stream” tailored to his or her interests and allows companies and publishers to become more in touch with specific target demographics.
Another application, BioFeedX, is developing a game-based “bio-feedback system” to help physiotherapists enhance patients’ muscle rehabilitation and performance through mobile applications and other gadgets.
In addition, Ogra Card was approved by TIEC. This application is an automatic fare collection system which converts cash into a prepaid card.
Other selected applications include LifeSource, Smart Gateway for IOT, SPM, The Speaking Glove, Hear Me It’s Time to Speak!, 3ayz rakna, and Water, Power, Agriculture Upgrading.
START aims to inspire the best solutions in the fields of communications and information technology.
The contest identified six key sectors: the first is “game-ification” sector, which applies the typical elements of gaming to other activities. The second is smart electricity meters so as to develop a platform or programme enabling users to access information on their electricity consumption and their electricity bills. The third sector is news, in which participants will create a programme or platform to collect news or social media contents from different sources.
The fourth sector is health and fitness, in which there are hopes to develop a programme for people interested in health, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss. The fifth sector is smart cities aiming to create mechanisms on how to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the establishment of smart cities and provide innovative services to the inhabitants of these cities. The sixth sector is smart silos, in which there are aims to establish mechanisms to take advantage of the IoT in the distribution of the harvest and in rationing post-harvest losses.
The companies must pass through many stages before graduation. First, a training camp where the participants are divided into teams. A group of trainers and mentors helps the participating teams to formulate their ideas (related to the challenges in the competition) and transform them into projects that meet the needs of the market.
At this stage, the participants can evaluate their ideas related to the projects and create preliminary models with the help of experts and mentors from Etisalat Egypt and TIEC. The participants will also be provided training about giving presentations on their projects.
Second is the pre-incubation stage, which involves the top 10 winners in the training camp and lasts for two months. The teams are provided with exercises, guidance, and follow-up from Etisalat Egypt and TIEC, in addition to a group of mentors.
During the pre-incubation stage, the teams will complete the development of their preliminary models. The participants will receive technical support and the required tools and equipment to develop their projects.
Last comes the incubation stage, in which TIEC selects the best two teams or companies. The incubation period lasts for 10 months. The winning company will receive services and benefits worth EGP 120,000 including consultancy, software, computers, marketing, and a furnished headquarters with a digital subscriber line (DSL).