Stakeholders in Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem are now offering numerous opportunities and support mechanisms for local start-ups grappling with slowing markets due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
From financing to business and psychological support, the stakeholders are using an array of online tools and functions to push the entrepreneurial ecosystem forward.
Falak Startups pumps new investments
The Falak Startups accelerator is offering up to EGP 1m in direct investment and support for start-ups in the healthtech, insuretech, fintech, logistics, 3D printing, remote work solutions, and e-learning fields. The investment is to enable growth in these sectors and strengthen their chances to thrive. This opportunity falls outside of their cycle process due to the strong need for certain services due to the coronavirus outbreak. Falak’s mission is to invest and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing them with the proper funding and tools to positively contribute to the economy.
AUC Venture Lab launches online activities
American University in Cairo (AUC)-based incubator, Venture Lab (V-Lab), has launched three online activities to support entrepreneurs. The V-Lab Quarantine Clinic offers entrepreneurs free 25-minute one-on-one online consultations and mentorship sessions. V-Lab has partnered with Takestep, Altibbi and RiseUp Connect for free psychiatric consultation sessions for entrepreneurs to cope with the psychological impact of the coronavirus. V-Lab is also hosting talks and live webinars to support entrepreneurs and professionals, discussing various topics in different industries. The first webinar featured Abdul Latif Jameel, from the AUC and also V-Lab Director, as well as Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship Ayman Ismail. The webinar discussed how the coronavirus is reshaping reality and how start-ups can find opportunities.
Techne Bytes fireside chat series
Techne platform has been hosting several regional online fireside chats since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. The series has now gone international with the “Techne Bytes” interview series, which takes place every Sunday and Tuesday. The series hosts world industry experts, such as Managing Partner at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) Walid Mansour, and Director of Consumer Marketing Commerce & Payments at Facebook Noha Rizk. The series is designed to help entrepreneurs take the next steps in their journey despite the tough times. Techne had also previously moved the final stages of “Techne Drifts” online, resulting in more virtual attendees. Techne Drifts is a series of events that take place across Egypt to empower and strengthen entrepreneurs nationwide. Techne is a platform for a group of initiatives that support tech and tech-enabled start-ups around the Mediterranean region.
Seedspace Cairo creates virtual hackathon
Seedspace Cairo launched its virtual hackathon, SeekNotHide, in partnership with Startup Haus Cairo, Gemini Enterprises Africa, Ibtikar Khana, Ashoka, and Wuzzuf. The hackathon was a platform on which to combat the challenges that entrepreneurs and start-ups are facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Seedspace is a learning and working environment empowering tech entrepreneurs to tackle the complex challenges our world is facing.
Endeavor provides resources for entrepreneurs
Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs, has created an open-source library of curated, vetted crisis management resources. The library is designed to help entrepreneurs measure, plan and execute their plans during these unprecedented timee. Resources include articles, expert advice and webinar recordings around topics such as remote working, business continuity, contingency planning, and more. Operating across 37 markets, Endeavor is leading the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement to drive long-term economic growth. It also looks to build strong entrepreneurship ecosystems by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the most impactful entrepreneurs.
Rainmaking Innovation launches “AMPLIFY” initiative
The Egypt-chapter of global innovation studio, Rainmaking Innovation, has called on entrepreneurs and founders of growth-stage start-ups to join its own AMPLIFY initiative. Aimed at creating commercially viable partnerships between start-ups and corporates in the banking sector, the initiative looks to ramp up B2B engagement proposals, whilst offering itself as an innovation partner. Through this, it looks to enable start-ups to harness the opportunity to ramp up their competitiveness despite the impact of the coronavirus. The initiative explores B2B commercialisation, piloting and corporate traction opportunities. Rainmaking Innovation is the mother company of global industry-focused accelerator Startupbootcamp. Globally, Rainmaking has facilitated over 300 corporate-start-up pilots, with over 200 corporate partners, at an 86% success rate. The deadline for applying to the initiative is 20 April.