Incubators, accelerators, and support organizations roll up sleeves to help startups maneuver COVID-19 backlash
7 April 2020
Ecosystem stakeholders of the local Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem are now offering numerous opportunities and support functions for local startups looking to grapple with the COVID-19-induced slow market dynamics.
From financing to business and psychological support, these stakeholders are using an array of online tools and functions to be present and push the ecosystem forward.
Here are the highlights:
Falak Startups accelerator is offering up to EGP 1 million in direct investment, support and perks for startups in the healthtech, insuretech, fintech, logistics, 3D printing, remote work solutions and e-learning fields, to enable their growth and strengthen their chances to thrive. This opportunity is provided outside of their cycle process due to the pressuring need for certain services amid the coronavirus spread. Falak’s mission is to invest and grow the next generation of future entrepreneurs by providing them with the proper funding and tools to positively contribute to the economy.
University-based incubator Venture Lab (V-Lab) of the American University in Cairo has launched three online activities to support entrepreneurs. The V-Lab Quarantine Clinic offers entrepreneurs free online 25-minute one-on-one consultations and mentorship and helps them with the challenges they are facing through evidence-based entrepreneurship. V-Lab also partnered with Takestep, Altibbi and RiseUp Connect for free psychiatric consultation sessionsfor entrepreneurs to cope with the psychological impact and influx of news of COVID-19. Lastly, V-Lab is hosting talks and live webinars to support entrepreneurs and professionals, discussing different topics in different industries. The first webinar featured V-Lab Director and AUC’s Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship Ayman Ismail as he talked about how COVID-19 is reshaping reality and how startups can find opportunities.
Techne platform has been hosting several online regional fireside chats since the COVID-19 outbreak, taking it internationally with the “Techne Bytes” interview series every Sunday and Tuesday. The series hosts world industry experts, such as Managing Partner at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) Waleed Masour and Director of Consumer Marketing Commerce & Payments at Facebook Noha Rizk, to help entrepreneurs take the next steps in their journey during these tough times. Techne had previously also moved the final stages of “Techne Drifts” online, resulting in more virtual attendees. Techne Drifts is a series of events in Egypt’s governorates to empower and strengthen entrepreneurs Egypt-wide. Techne is a platform for a group of initiatives that support tech and tech-enabled startups around the Mediterranean region.
Seedspace Cairo launched its virtual hackathon SEEKNOTHIDE, in partnership with Startup Haus Cairo, Gemini Enterprises Africa, Ibtikar Khana, Ashoka and Wuzzuf to combat the challenges that entrepreneurs, startups and the ecosystem 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, a global non-profit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs, has created an open-source library of curated, vetted crisis management resources to help entrepreneurs measure, plan and execute during this unprecedented time. 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 and build strong entrepreneurship ecosystems in growth markets by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs.
Egypt-chapter of global innovation studio Rainmaking Innovation called on entrepreneurs and founders of growth-stage startups to join its AMPLIFY initiative, aiming to create commercially viable partnerships between startups and corporates in the banking sector. Through a strategic alignment call to ramp up a startup’s B2B engagement proposition, Rainmaking then explores a commercialization opportunity with financial partner institutions. Rainmaking will offer itself as the innovation partner, enabling startups to harness the opportunity to ramp up their competitiveness in the midst of the COVID-19 impact. The initiative explores B2B commercialization, piloting and corporate traction opportunities. Rainmaking Innovation is the mother company of global industry-focused accelerator Startupbootcamp (SBC). Globally, Rainmaking facilitated 300+ corporate-startup pilots globally, with over 200 corporate partners, at a 86% success rate. Deadline: 20 April 2020.
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