The Egyptian Technology Innovation
& Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) has just launched its new
“Start IT” business
plan competition with a half-day
Start IT is a nationwide business plan competition targeting entrepreneurs with ICT-related prototypes who want to turn their ideas into a business. I normally shy away from government events but I’m happy I attended this one as it proved to be educational as well as entertaining.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Incubation Unit Manager and event organiser Lamiaa El-Rashidy
brought together a group of speakers who took the audience through
the A-Z of the lifecycle of business, from launch to exit.
- Dr. Hossam Osman, TIEC Acting Manager, kicked off things with
his own impressive entrepreneurial experience, explaining that he
was part of the team that first Arabized Lotus 1-2-3, a software
package that’s before the time of most Egyptians.
- Innoventures’ CEO Hesham Wahby described “How to Build a
Successful Startup,“ focusing on how to unite founders’ ideas
together with investors’ money and mentors’ expertise.
- Hossam Heiba, Managing Partner at Orbis Capital & Investment, told those gathered about “Private Equity As a Funding Source.” What made Hossam’s talk useful for many was his explanation of private equity and how it fit at the end of the investment spectrum after venture capital.
- His straightforward style was also fresh; he told all those assembled that the modern myth that investors don’t worry about income streams at the beginning is wrong, reminding everyone that investors always always think about the exit and the money; what’s variable is how long they’re willing to wait for a return.
- Amr El-Fass, the ZAD Group Chairman, then brought the house
down with his jovial and cheeky talk about “Unleashing The
Entrepreneur Within.” His down-to-earth style sat well with
all those attending, as he spoke about the out-of-the-ordinary
mental attributes it takes to be an entrepreneur.
- Finally, Bey2ollak Co-Founder Gamal Sadek and BasharSoft Co-Founder Muhammed ElGarhy regaled the assembled audience about their experience of launching a startup that is currently scaling, as Muhammed illuminated the benefits of being incubated at TIEC.
This final part was especially relevant because TIEC incubation is the competition's prize. TIEC has a network of incubation centers across the country, so wherever you are, if you or someone you know has a technology-related idea, get them to enter the competition by applying here before the April 18th deadline.
Lamia told me she is especially keen to get people from Upper Egypt to enter, as that region has traditionally been left behind, and there’s an incubation unit there that’s severely under-utilised. If you can help, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.