StartEgypt which is the result of concerted efforts between the British Embassy Cairo, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Flat6Labs, can be primarily considered to have been brought into existence by a grant reportedly valued at two million pounds (equivalent to USD 2.5 Mn) from the United Kingdom. The initiative aims to further the growth of social impact enterprises through the provision of entrepreneurial services, awareness activities, as well as a tailored and unique incubation program.
Last week witnessed the official launch of StartEgypt’s all-new, ultra-modern, office complex. In what was an auspicious occasion, StartEgypt: an Egyptian startup initiative that is looking to inspire and support a number of Egyptian entrepreneurs and social-impact enterprises, also threw its doors open to a number of Egyptian entrepreneurs that have their sights trained on bringing about a positive impact to society.
StartEgypt’s new office which is located in Giza hosted five Egyptian social startups to present their ideas before an audience which boasted of notable personalities such as John Casson; British Ambassador to Egypt, as well as Ahmed El Alfi; Co-Founder of Flat6Labs.
StartEgypt is open to startups that are at the idea stage provided they have a viable proposition with a recognizable social impact. Such sectors as agriculture, education, financial inclusion, marginalized communities, and transportation are typically the focus areas. As pointed out by Ragia Amr, Program Manager of StartEgypt, in a conversation with StartupScene, 30 startups were selected and admitted into the initiative’s incubation program out of over 1500 applications that were received in the previous cycle. The incubation program is scheduled to last for a period of five months, during which the participating startups are expected to build on their ideas and graduate with an air-tight and iron-clad business model. In no particular order, here are the five social startups that pitched at the event.
This health-tech startup is looking to create a platform that will cut down on the operational expenses incurred in running a pharmacy, with a view to increasing profits. MedEx has set its sights on providing a veritable tool with which pharmacists can rid their stores of excess product before they expire. This, it believes, can help speed up the capital cycle and avoid losses due to the expiration of medicines.
Dairy House is looking to cause ripples in the food-tech arena. The startup aims to leverage modern digital technology for the transformation of a process that has always been the forte of ‘milkmen and milkmaids’. During her pitch, the startup’s representative hinted at their vision of making fresh and organic dairy products – whether it be food or beverage – easily and readily available to consumers.
Ibrahim Fathy pitched the idea behind his startup, Rasseeny, before the audience. According to him, the idea was inspired by the need to address some of the concerns raised by individuals who are faced with the unsavory prospect of being unable to secure decent jobs in their respective fields of academia and specialty. Rasseeny is an online platform designed to solve these problems by providing the requisite guidance to seniors and fresh graduates which will enable them to get through college application projects successfully.
VWaste brought something different to the party. The startup is looking to explore the area of food waste management. Its representative, Diaa Adham, told the audience that the startup aims to collect over 100 tonnes of orange waste from factories which usually gets dumped in landfills. These orange wastes are typically charred openly, leaving behind significant carbon footprints that have a detrimental effect on the environment. Instead of the norm, VWaste which is a truncated form of ‘Viable Waste,’ aims to transform these wastes into products that are valuable through a recycling process that is eco-friendly.
With the help of her colleagues – Wael Hamman; a web and mobile app expert, and Walid Elsabagh; a PMP-certified software engineer – Rasha Arnest; a physically-challenged journalist who has been at the forefront of covering disability-related matters for the better part of a decade, pitched the idea behind iHelp. The startup proposed a mobile app which specifies areas of least and most accessibility by means of a map. This can help notify physically-challenged persons in advance about areas in which they should exercise the most care while easing their mobility struggles in Egypt.