Rise Up has taken six startups on a Rise Up Explore trip to Silicon Valley that started on April 4 and finishes on April 13.
RiseUp Explore is a special program where selected startups from the Middle East and Africa travel to global ecosystems to enable them to accelerate, innovate, and grow. Each trip is arranged around events, conferences, and summits such as TOA, Slush, and Launch Festival.
This year, RiseUp Explore is organized in partnership with Voyaj and Tech Wadi and enabled by the World Bank. The six explorers attended the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco, and will go on a tour of the Google, Facebook and 500 Startups campuses.
“We are excited to take some of the regional entrepreneurs to San Francisco, experiences like these open doors for the entrepreneurs and even change startup industries,” said Rise Up cofounder Con O’Donnell.
Out of 112 applications RiseUp team choose 23 startups and then they went through a series of trainings and competitions before selecting the final 6 startups. The pre-set criteria for startups were: maturity, scalability, innovativeness and presentable on global standards.
The selected startups are
1. Al Makinah offers programing boot camps that prepare a high technical caliber to work at top technical companies and startups worldwide.
2. 5dVR is a one-stop shop for the production of virtual reality projects. They are one of the pioneers who started working in augmented reality and virtual reality in the MENA region. In 2016, 5dVR made a 100 percent profit margin and delivered projects in Korea, Italy, UK, Australia and the GCC.
3. La Reina is a rental platform for high-end designer dresses. They started with less than $2,000 capital but managed to break-even in their second month and fulfilled over 35 brides’ dreams of wearing a designer dress at an affordable price.
4. Bosta is an on-demand delivery platform that allows people and businesses to send and receive shipments with the push of a button, as well as monitor their deliveries until they reach their destination. Bosta was founded by Mohamed Ezzat, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Lynks, which was incubated at Y Combinator.
5. Eureka is an offline tech academy specialized in the education of technology, innovation, and engineering. They have won over 10 awards and been featured on regional media such as Inc Magazine and Al Jazeera TV for training over 500 students. Eureka started in Amman, Jordan and are now expanding to other countries in the Middle East.
6. UpFuse is a well-known, mission-driven startup in Egypt that promotes a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle. They design and produce fashionable handmade bags made out of upcycled plastic bags. Last year, they up cycled 22,000 plastic bags while supporting 14 underprivileged persons in earning steady incomes. They are selling in Cairo, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, San Diego, and Berlin. Their story was picked up in 19 articles, two radio shows and four TV interviews.