AUC V-Lab launches 10 new startups in its third round

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As part of its ongoing efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs in Egypt, the AUC Venture Lab has announced the 10 startups that selected to participate in its third edition.

It’s obvious that the V-Lab team pays a great amount of attention to ensuring a diverse mix of ideas in its incubator. The third edition’s projects vary between energy, music, digital games, education, recycling, entertainment, tourism, and sports:

  1. Tumbleweed will provide a social guide for travel, allowing users to discover and track other users’ touristic experiences and activities. The app is currently under construction for both Android and iOS.

  2. STEBN offers smart solutions for the traffic congestion crisis in Egypt, providing bicycle stations at various places in the city, where subscribers can borrow a bicycle with a smart card and then return it to any other station (like systems currently in place in New York and London).
  1. Ion-7 is an up-and-coming studio for the development of mobile phone 3D games for both Android and iOS.
     
  2. Creative Bits is based on the snowball strategy to help people build their apps. The company offers the e-robot kit to teach kids programming, electronics, game development, and engineering in a fun and exciting way.
     
  3. Shireet works on discovering unknown bands and managing their digital rights in order to produce albums. The company also aims to produce high-quality videos.
     
  4. Soutak.com is a platform that allows people to communicate with the people representing them in any type of election (parliament, clubs, students union), allowing people to learn about their candidates as well as their qualifications, electoral programs, and plans after they win the elections, and to follow up on the candidates’ implementation of their promises after they win.
     
  5. Top Admissions Choice is an online platform that helps students choose the universities that best suit them and the various specialization options and courses, as well as send out college applications.
     
  6. Jozour produces wood panels out of palm fronds using an innovative pressing machine with the help of recyclable materials. These panels are then used in furniture and decoration factories.
     
  7. Gymawy is a mobile phone application for both Android and iOS that aims at turning gym sessions into a lifestyle by providing a personal trainer for every user. The more the user sticks to their workouts, the more points he gets, which he can redeem for free diet meals from renowned restaurants across Egypt.
     
  8. Waffarly is an e-commerce platform that sells power-saving home appliances with the aim of reducing home and office monthly utility bills. Products include solar-energy lamps, water-saving taps, and others.

Around 180 teams applied for V-Lab’s third edition. As always, V-Lab awarded the startups with a selection of integrated incubation benefits, including office space, access to university facilities and IT tools, mentorship and coaching sessions by experts, as well as funding of up to 20,000 EGP (just under $3,000 USD).

The third edition participants did not however all agree on the extent to which they benefitted from the program, which still has one more month to go. Ahmed Elsayed, cofounder of Gymawy, and Omar Khashaba from Top Admissions Choice agreed on “the importance of the incubator providing specialized training sessions for every company in its own field, instead of focusing on the concept of entrepreneurship in general.”

Zeina from Jozour, on the other hand said that “it is not the first time to we take part in an incubator’s program; V-Lab was the most beneficial of them all, as it allowed us to communicate and network with mentors and investors, some of whom already showed interest in delving into the details of our projects.”

Haitham Mostafa, cofounder of Soutak, expressed his overwhelming satisfaction with the training sessions and the funding amount, while Mohammed Salameh, cofounder of Shireet noted that “our business plan had some serious mistakes. We ended up changing the whole business model after we enrolled in the incubator from which we benefitted immensely.”

All entrepreneurs agreed that the best training sessions were those about digital marketing and sales, and what investors expect from entrepreneurs, offered by Houssam Allam, founder of Cairo Angels, a platform for venture investors.

Regarding these successful sessions in particular, Ayman Ismail, developer of the entrepreneurship program in the first university incubator in Egypt, said: “We are discovering more closely with time what entrepreneurs need from us and then we’re working on providing it, which is what we have achieved by organizing lectures on financial and legal management for startups, after we sensed their need for it.”


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