The UK-funded programme was launched in November 2017 by the British Embassy in Cairo in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Flat6Labs. The programme offers a GBP 2 million (around EGP 47 million) grant.
Since the beginning of its operations, the programme received over 1,000 applications from all over Egypt, 20% of which are from female entrepreneurs. The initiative has toured Egypt to provide mentorship to over 1000 other entrepreneurs in eight governorates. It has also supported eight Egyptian startups participate in some of the world’s most important tech events, Silicon Valley and London Tech Week, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work, penetrate new markets and pitch to new investors.
Thirty five projects are being incubated by Start Egypt while 10 completed their acceleration. Some examples of companies receiving support from Start Egypt are:
- Tajdeed, from Aswan: A project that aims to develop a Solar Cleaner Robot to easily clean solar cells.
- Opuntia, from Minya: A project that aims to establish the first Egyptian company specialized in producing organic Opuntia seed oil from Egyptian prickly pear seeds . The Seed oil is rich with fatty acids and acts as effective anti-aging, skin moisturizing and anti-wrinkles agent as well as many other pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical uses.
- IOP, from Tanta: A project that aims to develop a sensor that collects data from soil and send it through a software that determines the water level, humidity (amla7), and then send it to a mobile app
- Konsolto, from Cairo: A project that aims at organizing and unifying the patient medical report output from all the systems implemented on healthcare facilities make it easy to access by patients and there health care provider
Her Excellency Minister of Investment Dr. Sahar Nasr said:
We are pleased to witness the progress of this startups initiative, which contributes greatly in transforming the ecosystem, led by StartEgypt (Flat6Labs development impact arm), financed by the UK-FCO and operationally managed by international financial institutions such as the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
This program is fully in line with the Government of Egypt’s agenda and programs, aiming at empowering youth and designing innovative solutions to social challenges.
British Ambassador John Casson said:
The true measure of our success in helping Egypt’s economic reform vision will be when every Egyptian can fulfil their potential. For the past four years, I have heard so many innovative ideas from brilliant Egyptian entrepreneurs. We launched the EGP 47m Start Egypt to turn these ideas into job-creating enterprises that create social solutions and serve all Egyptians. Today, we plant the seed of a sustainable economy led by the Egyptian private sector and backed by the UK, Egypt’s number one investment partner.
Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen said:
We are proud of the progress we see on the ground with Flat6Labs and our joint initiative, Start Egypt. We hope this program will provide the support and opportunities entrepreneurs need to help them realize their potential.
Start Egypt Programme Director Hassan Mansi said:
StartEgypt is proudly announcing the launch of its office in Egypt on August 13th at 02:00 PM in a ceremony featuring Her Majesty’s Ambassador attendance along with entrepreneurs from all over the country who gathered to celebrate and get acquainted about the latest updates of the initiative. The program started back in November 2017 while actually hit the ground in early 2018 with a series of activities featuring the first health hackathon in Egypt, four female founders workshop, a startup competition and a national roadshow which covered cities from Alexandria to Aswan. The first incubation cycle of the program, started on June 24th, featuring 28 social entrepreneurship startups solving market programs in the healthcare, waste management, transportation, education, renewable energy, serving marginalized communities and financial inclusion areas.