In a majestic hall in Cairo's Zamalek Cinema, startups involved in art, services, e-commerce, healthcare, and F&B presented their business models in front of a wide audience of investors, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs.
In partnership with Cairo Angels, EG Bank held the first demo day of MINT Incubator at Zamalek Cinema on Tuesday, June 26th, with 10 Egyptian startups pitching the stories of inspiration behind their startups, their business models and how much they will need to accelerate and scale up to penetrate the market.
The MINT Incubator is designed to support startups "with no strings attached," as EG Bank's website describes. The programme is an intensive three month incubation process that is designed for businesses that already have a product, and aim to provide the selected startups with the opportunity to take their business to the next level and to become a more attractive opportunity for startup investors.
After getting filtered out from 30 startups, 10 startups got paired with mentors who supported and guided the entrepreneurs, who were exposed to a series of workshops that addressed key areas purposed to accelerate the startup's business and enhance the team's know-how, such as finance, sales, marketing, growth hacking, accounting basics, legal, and governance basics, how to attract and retain talent, and how to think about one's brand. Here's the 10 championing startups:
Nayrouz Talaat took the microphone and spoke about her journey with her startup, Direxiona, a platform enabling women to book professional female driving instructors who are willing to use their own cars, in real time based on their time and location. She leaped on the good news that Saudi women are allowed to take the wheels and discussed Direxiona's plans to leverage on that. The platform also offers mechanic tips, rules of safety, and defensive driving tips. The company offers different packages of teaching hours with prices carrying accordingly. Talaat is looking for EGP 1 million to step up her startup's game.
The Meal Kit
Arguing that his startup makes healthy food at a reduced price in comparison with the competitors, as shown in the photo, Abdel Rahman El-Mahdy represented the Meal Kit, a startup offering a hassle-free experience for people to prepare quick home-cooked meals at an affordable price. Leveraging on students and single people who want to save up as well as lead a healthy life, the Meal Kit sends fully prepared meal ingredients - fully washed, sliced and weighed - to customers, promising a maximum of 30 minutes cooking time. Customers have the option to order individual meal kits or make weekly subscriptions depending on their preference.
NIoTEK combines hardware and software solutions using Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning technologies to maximise operational efficiency in manufacturing facilities. Founded in Egypt in 2017, by a team of experts in software development, production process, and electronics, NIoTEK is eyeing 75 percent of the IoT market share in MENA by 2022.
Through its IoT and ML technologies, the company uses real time data to gather information about machine lines' productivity and analyse them. NIOTEK aspires to help companies make not only better but also faster decisions about their manufacturing operations. NIOTEK’s analytics platform, purposely built for discrete and process manufacturing, uses AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics to help address critical challenges in quality and productivity throughout the enterprise.
Styled up by Amina Ghali herself, Yousra El-Ghor presented her startup Sheyaka, an online department store that sheds light on local designers. The e-commerce platform provides a space for retailers to present and advertise their products from accessories to home décor to fashion, delivering right to customers' doorstep. Sheyaka ships worldwide, giving local designers a chance for international exposure. El-Ghor added in her pitch that Sheyaka also provides digital marketing hacks and tips to reach out to the widest range of clientele as possible.
This young entrepreneur found many of his friends produce art without finding a market, overwhelmed with the reality of mainstream consumerism. So, Abdalla Amin, Emad Zowail, and Omar Ibrahim decided to establish Flareinn, an online marketplace and community for amateur art. Through the platform, customers can filter by artwork type, price or artist to find the best pieces fit for their needs and have them delivered right to their doorstep.
What made Amin and his friends more enthusiastic to work on Flareinn is customers like the one they introduced in their slideshow as shown in the photo, a middle aged loyal customer who bought around 20 paintings. Flareinn also allows artists to create profiles and get a chance to showcase and boost their work for higher exposure. The company is a commission-based platform and offers premium services to give artists added exposure as well as offers advertisement through its blog.
The entrepreneurs, who were named as StartupScene's 25 under 25 in 2017, are looking for EGP 1.5 million to use in their recruitment process, marketing along with business development.
Odiggo is an online platform for car parts, helping customers fix and service their vehicles. Car parts offered by the company can either be installed by customers or through the car's service centre. Oddigo provides car parts for a wide variety of car types and operates on commission basis. Ahmed Omar, the CEO and founder of Odiggo tells Startup Scene one day before their pitch that they are looking to raise an investment of $128,000 to add an entire department for sales as well as develop Odiggo’s technology to serve more people at higher quality. Lat year, Omar was featured on Startup Scene's 25 Under 25.
The startup's newest product is a hardware that can talk to Odiggo's mobile app and inspect almost anything that's wrong with the car. The technical team has already tried out the AI system in a few cars and it worked perfectly, as Omar describes. They’re just integrating and validating a few models. “After it can talk to us, we can diagnose, after we diagnose we can tell people where these parts are on the website.” According to the entrepreneur, this kind of integrated system hasn’t been installed in any part of the world.
Optimistic to raise $300,000, Cyber Talents is a platform that ranks cyber security professionals across the globe by running Capture the Flag contests. Competitions are powered by large tech companies and involve a challenge that contestants spend hours solving. Those successful in solving the problem are given a ranking based on time and results which is used by tech companies as a talent acquisition tool for recruitment. Cyber Talents operates on commission basis from hires.
"We noticed that the market has an ever-growing need for high skills cyber security talents with nearly 2 million persons shortage. Also, we know that the top rankers in CTFs usually land in nice jobs after being noticed by companies that attend conferences where CTFs are held. In an attempt to close this gap, we launched CyberTalents to automate and ease the creation of CTFs and provide it as a service to find the best talents, rank them across the globe and bring them to Cyber Security Game," the entrepreneur explains. CyberTalents' vision is to build the largest cyber security community in the world to be able to solve workforce shortage and the future cyber security problems CyberTalents is on a mission to close the gap of cyber security professionals shortage across the globe that most governments, companies and enterprises face now.
Farah Emara, 21, stepped on the stage to introduce Jidar, a startup that connects wall artists to businesses and individuals looking to create wall art and murals. “Our greatest aim is to turn every wall into a canvas, since walls are the most practical kind of canvas,” says Emara's co-founder Sara Gaafar told Startup Scene ME earlier in 2017, when she was selected as one of the 25 entrepreneurs under 25. Through its network of artists, Jidar offers its clients with diversity in the art styles provided to suit their different tastes and needs. The company operates on commission basis.
Founded in February 2017, the startup has helped paint over 70 walls across restaurants, startups, co-working spaces and hotels, and boasts of a database of more than a hundred artists and designers across the country. Jidar is looking to raise EGP 1 million to expand their team and therefore their business.
X-Venturer aims to be the world's largest sports, leisure, crafts, and tourism integrated network that provides the most complete experience to its clients by leveraging the power of technology to connect the stakeholders of these industries. The company charges a commission on every transaction performed on its website. Omar Gaballah told the audience that his startup is eyeing $70,000 of investment; 30 percent of which they'll use for hiring, another 30 percent will go to marketing and the remaining 40 percent will go to development.
"Believe it or not, doctors have a huge knowledge gap," Ahmed Hassan told the audience in the first seconds of his pitch, throwing everyone back with confusion. Hassan introduced the business model behind his mobile app, Roshetta, an assistant that works with healthcare professionals to make better treatment decisions and pharmacies manage their inventory, aspiring to fill in this gap Hassan was talking about in his pitch.
The app offers a database of local drugs and their alternatives along with each drug's prescribing information. Roshetta allows pharmaceuticals to display targeted advertisements to doctors and pharmacists.
Photography by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.
Photographer: Sherif Abdel Azim
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