Startups of Alex, the first business incubation program in Alexandria, in partnership with the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) had final listed the five Alexandrian startups for its fully incubated program, and another three for semi incubation for the coming four months, between September to December 2017.
Eighteen startups who passed the first filtration process were invited to attend cycle 1 preparatory bootcamp. Their business ideas spanned between different sectors from technology to fashion, architecture to automobiles. The bootcamp took place over five days in icealex’s headquarters, down town Alexandria. The first day was an opening day, providing the startups with an introduction to the customer development process, with the next three days focusing on the different aspects of Human Centred Design: Desirability, Feasibility and Viability.
The final day saw the startups pitch their ideas to our judging panel in a bid to be chosen to take part in the incubation cycle. The Judging panel included: Ahmed Bastawy, the Managing Director of icealex and founder of Startups of Alex,Mohamed Abdul Aziz, CEO of Umbrella for Business Development, and Loay El-Shawarby, lawyer and founder of the NGO Nahdet El Mahrosa. Ms. Habiba el Zeiny, representative of GIZ and Ms. Alia Saleh, representative from Alex Angels (Alexandrian Based, Angel investor network) were among the Bootcamp guests.
The five winning startups of the first cycle were:
- Yalla Gawaz, who seek to ease the stress of getting married for couples-to-be by connecting them with service providers such as wedding planning and home decoration.
- Black Duck, who aim to make good use of garbage by turning recyclable materials into jewellery and accessories
- 7agat, who manufacture toys (with a special focus on children with special needs) as early intervention tools to solve behavioural and social problems
- Hood, a device and mobile application which detects and allows you to monitor issues with your car without the hassle of having to go to a mechanic.
- Connect4Bots, who build Facebook bots which facilitate reservation processes at hospitals and hotels.
Within the incubation cycle, three more startups will be semi incubated. These startups include:
- General Labs, Fits tables' centerpieces that are found on most cafes and restaurants tables with displays thus creating an advertising, discovery and interaction medium.
- Egarw is an online platform to facilitate rental of stuff and tools by the crowd. (Video Conference)
- Pla Deska which focuses on exporting Egyptian products (Plastics & Preserved Food ) to the African Markets
These winning startups will now enter into the first business incubation cycle of Startups of Alex. Over the next four months, they will have receive personalised training including business modelling, financial skills, legal awareness, and presentation and pitching skills, as well as access to shared co-working and meeting spaces, beside icealex’s Fablab. Not only this, they will also be supported through the process by mentors and organisations, such as INSERT who will use their experience to help assist the startups with any challenges they face. All of these activities will help create a network of communication and knowledge within the entrepreneurial environment, with the startups given the opportunity to attend National, Globale business events, and increased access to funding.
Ahmed Bastawy, founder of Startups of Alex, explained that ‘the business incubator will be a step forward for entrepreneurship in Alexandria, and a step towards the advancement of the local economy’. The call of the next cycle will be opened by the end of 2017, to start by first quarter of 2018.