Flat6Labs, the newest startup accelerator in Egypt, launched its first round of startup investment and training today. Last night, its first five companies arrived to its office- a Cairo flat numbered 6- for orientation. Today, these companies will become Cycle 0, the first set to complete three months of intensive mentorship and training, culminating in a Demo Day in mid-January, when they will pitch to investors.
Flat6Labs, which is owned by Sawari Ventures and supported by the American University in Cairo, will invest 50,000-75,000 EGP (~$8,000 - $12,500) in each startup for a 10-15% equity stake, and will offer potential further investment of 250,000 EGP (~$40,000) in those that show promise on Demo Day.
With a goal of educating its startups in the basics, the accelerator will host twice-weekly seminars including professors from the AUC School of Business, who will teach marketing, finance, and legal process, as well as members of the broader technology and telecommunications community, who will discuss market opportunities, development, and practical knowledge like presentation skills.
When it comes to eligibility, the accelerator has a specific focus on tech startups, mostly in the mobile space, at the zero stage. “We’re focusing on very early seed companies, before they’ve done much work beyond their business plan,” said Ahmed El Alfi, chairman of Sawari Ventures.
What are the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make when pitching to Flat6Labs? “Having an idea but no path to realizing it,” says El Alfi. “If someone comes in with an idea but doesn’t know how to program it, it won’t work. We don’t provide onsite developers.”
What sets the accepted companies apart? "Experience, having ideas we liked, and having passion. The most important of those three being a good, realizable idea and passion.”
It’s not just the startups that will be incubated over Cycle 0. Flat6Labs, which is not an arm of Sawari Ventures, but rather a wholly-owned portfolio company run by CEO Ramez Mohamed, will also be iterating its structure and learning from the process, said El Alfi.
Generally, he hopes that Flat6Labs will fertilize the startup ecosystem in Egypt. “I hope that every entrepreneur and developer that passes through Flat6Labs creates a viable company here or goes out and contributes somehow to the creation of another company in Egypt.”
Meet Flat6Labs’s first five startups:
Careerise is a recruitment platform that sources candidates from social networks and recommend them to matching opportunities through trusted connections. It also allows employers to take control of their recruitment pipeline, attract better qualified and trusted candidate while saving time and money in the process.
Ekshef's vision is to improve the healthcare sector in Egypt by providing doctors with powerful technology tools that enhance the quality of the service they provide, and hence, make the lives of their patients much easier. Ekshef mainly tackles the problems of finding the best doctor and driving more patients to newly opened clinics which suffer from low traffic.
F16Apps is on a mission to develop super applications for super users, starting with "Neatly"; Neatly is a social client that rearranges incoming social networks feeds based on the relevance and interests in a neat way. Neatly also integrates some other features that give the user the power to stay on the top of their social feed, making them miss no other important update from their friends anymore.
Snapze is a mobile application that provides activities recommendations to users based on several key factors; like their social profiles and activities they, or their friends, have done before. The more snapze is used, the more it will learn about the user, their behavior and their friends. Its recommendations will become more and more tailored and specific over time, creating a more meaningful experience
Tabshora is a cloud service to collect feedback on anything visual. The feedback loop that every creative has to go through after every stage in their work process, trying to get feedback on their visual output has been deemed hectic, anti-productive and time consuming. However it's different with Tabshora, as it integrates with every stage in the process that requires feedback. As long as the output is something visual, Tabshora will collect feedback from clients and co-workers, help analyzing & organizing it and finally acting upon it.