New Startup Accelerator Flat6Labs Launches in Cairo

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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:


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