The company seeks to open its headquarters in Borg El–Arab’s technological park next month to spread the culture of entrepreneurship
Hesham Wahby, co-founder and CEO of Innoventures, said that his company aims to support and accelerate start-ups in Egypt with high-growth potential, adding that he is preparing to receive new start-ups this year.
Wahby revealed that Innoventures will launch an investment fund with a capital of EGP 30m to invest in start-ups and entrepreneurship in the coming weeks.
Can you tell us about Innoventures?
Innoventures is a platform, which offers a package of services to start-ups, including headquarters, legal and finance consultancy, training, and financial support of EGP 50,000-300,000, according to the company’s needs.
Do you have plans to launch an investment fund?
We intend to launch an investment fund within the coming weeks with a minimum capital of EGP 30m, aiming to increase the fund’s capital to EGP 100-200m in this year.
Innoventures will offer investments worth between EGP 50,000-5m to companies, according to the needs of each company, in exchange for 8-13% of the company’s share.
How does Innoventures choose the companies to invest in?
Innoventures will inject investments in start-ups according to several criteria, including the “strength” of the project, and that the company’s age in the market is at least 3-6 months.
We are currently preparing to receive new companies in the fund and platform by April, while the start-up incubating process lasts for 6 months.
How many companies took part in the programme so far?
Innoventures programme “Startup Reactor”, has incubated 20 start-ups so far, through three investment cycles, and we target to incubate and support 15 start-ups this year. We are also looking to increase the number of companies further next year.
Innoventures targets to support and invest in the different technological areas, such as agriculture, solar energy, and other fields. The companies are allowed to apply in the Innoventures programme once a year, and we aim to increase it to twice a year in 2018.
Do you have plans to spread nationwide?
Innoventures does not ignore other governorates, as we will open our headquarters in Borg El-Arab’s technological park next month and receive new entrepreneurs, with plans to expand in Upper Egypt’s governorates in the coming period.
How do you see the entrepreneurship industry in Egypt?
The entrepreneurship began to spread in the local market during the last period, while venture capital institutions began to emerge strongly in the local market. But the field is still new on the market, which represents a challenge for entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurship is based on three different axes: entrepreneurs, investors, and experts. Innoventures works to link them to develop the field.
How do you see the entrepreneurship environment in Egypt?
Entrepreneurship in Egypt lacks the ability to develop a strong business plan through which it can attract investors.
The entrepreneurship environment in Egypt is relatively integrated, with a potential to lead the Middle East in this field, but the industry needs to inject large investments.
Current investment laws are not suitable for the entrepreneurship field, and the government is currently working on improving the conditions of this field, through adopting serious steps, especially by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.