The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the American University in Cairo (AUC) Venture Lab have announced their collaboration on the Startup Launchpad.
The initiative is a capacity-building programme that empowers entrepreneurs as they launch their technology startups.
The eight-week programme aims to support and inspire Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, by offering extensive nationwide training offering to tech entrepreneurs. It also provides networking and skills development opportunities, to help tech entrepreneurs effectively develop business ideas and increase their startups’ chances of survival and success.
The ITIDA-powered programme will be delivered by the AUC Venture Lab, a member of the Babson Collaborative for Entrepreneurship Education, founded by Babson College, the leading US-based global educational institute in the field of entrepreneurship.
Designed for individuals who are passionate about technology and have an interest in entrepreneurship, Startup Launchpad will help participants validate their innovative solutions. The programme, which will start in January and end with a pitch day in March, will also help them identify market gaps, and overcome the most common challenges.
An introductory two-week training session will commence the programme, featuring information on the basics of entrepreneurship, the different growth stages of startups, and the principles of marketing and finance. During the second week, entrepreneurs will start developing and prototyping their business ideas.
Over the following weeks, participants will receive guidance and expert mentorship while they validate their solutions and perform market experiments with real-life customers. This will ensure that their ideas have the potential to become scalable successful ventures.
The final stage of the programme will help entrepreneurs master the art of pitching their startups, elevate their presentation and communication skills. It will also provide them with the opportunity to present their ideas to potential investors at a pitch day in March.
Entrepreneurs can apply to join the programme from 15 November to 3 January, with certificates from ITIDA and AUC Venture Lab awarded upon the programme’s completion.
In recent years, Egypt has done much to boost its tech startup ecosystem, which has dynamically evolved through active government support for nationwide technology innovation.
The number of technology startups has quickly amplified with the increased attention from local and international Venture Capitals (VCs). During the first half (H1) of 2020, reports announced that Egyptian startups received the largest amount of investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) highlighted Cairo as the perfect test bed for innovation, and an attractive market for scalability. The Egyptian capital was ranked as one of the top 10 global ecosystems for affordable talent in 2020, and one of the top 10 Africa and Middle Eastern ecosystems in funding.