Startup Tob Turba Wins Fikrati Competition in Egypt

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Tob Turba Madghout (Madghout stands for compressed) won the first prize in the 'Fikrati' (my idea) competition organized by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Progam (EPI) and hosted by the American University of Cairo’s Business Faculty.

The panel of 13 judges included Endeavor executive director Ahmad Bidawi, and Hiba Habchi of Flat6 Labs, in addition to four university professors from AUC.

Contestants received an intensive five-day training in team building, crafting a business plan, design, innovation, inspiration, leadership, management, in addition to some legal and financial workshops before the final round of the competition. The training was jointly given by academics, practitioners, and entrepreneurs.

The final round included 43 contestants out of 350 ideas submitted by students from universities across Egypt. Most submissions were related to empowering marginalized groups in the country, addressing social issues, and the improving tourism, housing, theater, e-commerce and transportation industries.

The Tob Turba Madghout team of 8 members received 50 thousand Egyptian pounds (more than US $8,000) and will be incubated next semester by the American University of Cairo. Their product idea is compressed “tob” (tiles and bricks) made primarily of clay soil, offering an eco-friendly, cheap and energy-saving building material.

Simu World and Theradolls each placed behind Tob Turba Maghdout in the competiton. Simu World is a medical simulation system dedicated to help health practitioners monitor heart rate irregularities. Theradolls specializes in designing dolls to help children overcome trauma and other their psychological issues. Both teams won a prize of 10 thousand Egyptian pounds (around US $1500). Chams, an innovative solar energy system startup, was also nominated to run for the International Challenge Competition by Intel Global Challenge in San Francisco this year.

The Nahdat al Mahrousa association presented the “Best Idea” award to Bayt al Saada (Happy House) that offers products and services to handicapped customers. Recycle Egypt won the “Green Idea” from Nahdat, recycling garbage with profit gains to garbage collectors. 20 teams received the Dale Carnegie Prize and 10 will benefit from free English language courses at the Berlitz Language School.

At the event, Dr. Sherif Kamel, Dean of the Business Faculty at AUC, explained that investing in promising young entrepreneurs is Egypt’s guarantee for a better future. “We are looking for the one idea that will instigate change in Egypt. We have to look beyond IT innovations and focus instead on health, education, commerce, agriculture and media.”

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