AUC V-Lab Demo Day graduates even more promising start-ups

VLab Demo Day

Another round, and another AUC VLab Demo day featuring a fascinating graduating cohort of startups. Demo day spotlighted some promising startups in various fields, from debt and investment management to cutting-edge health tech and e-commerce solutions.

Financial Technology on the Rise

To cater to a rising need for innovation in financial technology (fintech), The VLab fintech accelerator was developed as a 16-week customized program for fintech startups providing entrepreneurs with specialized business, finance, and technology support. The program equips the entrepreneurs with knowledge needed to understand the ins and outs of working within the evolving government regulations.

“There are a number of platforms, including fintech, that can not just showcase the power and the reach of technology, but also help the community have access to a variety of services that otherwise they would not have access to,” emphasized Dean Sherif Kamel on the importance of the fintech industry, during his fintech accelerator Demo Day speech.

This fintech accelerator Fall'20 cycle has graduated four startups presenting innovative solutions for debt management, investment automation, project management, and payment facilitation. Those are CreditFins, BONA Invest, MAQALID, and Pillpipe. The AUC Venture Lab fintech accelerator is powered by the Commercial International Bank (CIB) and in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“To overcome the rigid and inflexible nature of banks, we wanted to have a collaboration model with one of the best institutions in Egypt; AUC Venture Lab,” said Mohammed Farag, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at CIB, an entity that “has always been keen on collaborating with leading institutions that serve the society and youth when it comes to financial inclusion and fintech,” added Farag.

Associate professor at AUC School of Business and founding director of AUC Venture Lab, Ayman Ismail affirmed: “For the past five years, we have been supporting fintech startups in Egypt. Now we are seeing the market expand, and with new regulations coming in that are opening up the space, new startups are coming in and new investments are also coming into the space”.

“We strongly believe in fintech’s potential to contribute to the country's policy priorities of financial inclusion and inclusive growth by closing the gap in the delivery of financial services to both services households and firms,” stressed Menan Omar, fintech project leader at IFC.

 

Startups with a Purpose: Creating Value and Tackling Pressing Collective Issues

This round, the Startup Accelerator's Nestlé Cycle 15, featured entrepreneurs working on solutions to ease pains in the health-tech, e-commerce, sustainability, ed-tech, logistics, and creative industries.

The 16-week program supports early-stage innovative startups to launch and grow their business using evidence-based entrepreneurship and lean startup methods. The AUC Venture Lab Startup Accelerator is supported by the Arab African International Bank (AAIB), the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP), DROSOS FOUNDATION, Nestlé, Oxfam, and Shell Egypt.

“This is a day where we always celebrate, together as a community, the achievement, the innovation, the spirit, the passion and the entrepreneurial mindset of our different entrepreneurs demonstrating their startups and how they contribute, not just to the sector they are associated with, but also to the economy at large,” Kamel said.

Creating shared value manager at Nestle Egypt Salma El Halaby agreed: “Harnessing the power of private enterprises to tackle the social challenges with business solutions is what we call creating shared value. We work to identify and support entrepreneurs who demonstrate creating shared value through their business ideas and actions”.

Moataz Darwish, government and external relations manager and deputy chairman at Shell Egypt, explained why Shell Egypt has chosen to support this round of the startup accelerator, saying: “The key collaboration driver with the AUC Venture Lab is energy and sustainability. This is clearly driven by our ambition to be a net-zero emission company in 2050 or sooner. And to do that we need collaboration on a local and global level”.

AUC Venture Lab is Egypt’s first university-based start-up accelerator and a leading accelerator in the Middle East and Africa. AUC V-Lab supports innovation-driven and passionate entrepreneurs looking to turn their solutions and technologies into viable businesses.

“Despite all what is happening around us, we are happy to see more entrepreneurs come into the ecosystem and start their businesses. AUC Venture Lab has supported more than 230 startups to date. We are also pleased to see investments coming in with more companies funding through AUC Angles and other venues,” concluded Ismail.

 

Learn more about Graduates of this Round:

Medicaspace is an online platform connecting the different stakeholders in the healthcare field and offering medical professionals multiple trading, educational and social services.

Hoods’ is a social e-commerce platform that connects travelers with shoppers. Shoppers can use Hoods’ to buy and order original products at highly discounted prices with fast delivery. In contrast, individuals can use the platform to afford traveling and to explore the world.

Qubx offers anatomical digital 3D model visualization and printing that help in preparing for medical operations and fill a gap for the medical radiological centers. Qubx models are fast to produce, easy to access, and of the smallest file size.

Crescendoes is an online platform that connects music enthusiasts and beginner learners to online and offline classes and facilitates renting instruments easily.

Consolto provides online and offline medical consultations from a team of medical professionals from different specialties relevant to the patient’s condition. This multidisciplinary approach helps patients save time and effort, avoid any confusion from contradicting opinions and receive a comprehensive treatment plan for complex medical conditions at a higher accuracy rate.

MARNX.com is a marketplace for home and office decor and furniture, offering vendors a channel for promoting their products and buyers' various payment solutions.

LiMA produces livestock feed supplements that reduce methane emissions while increasing the livestock’s weight allowing farmers to increase their financial gain. The product is the first of its kind in Egypt and is certified by the European Union.

Habu Arts provides uniquely designed, contemporary, customizable, high-quality home accessories made of traditional alabaster. Their products revive the ancient Egyptian craft and incorporate modern design techniques based on stories from the Egyptian heritage.

Araby is a platform bringing together an online marketplace for agriculture products and a blog that aims to empower and educate farmers through informative content.

ArabCBT is an e-learning platform offering specialized technical, professional training to Arab talents. The platform also provides learners with a customized career development plan with integrated localized training and mentoring sessions.

Wall & Ceil is an e-commerce platform specialized in finishing and decorating materials, furniture, home appliances, and furnishing services.

Teegara.com is an e-commerce wholesome solution connecting merchants with vendors and offering them innovative payment methods. Teegara.com uses artificial intelligence technology to analyze customer needs as the platform expands to serve customers across the MENA region.

Retag is a fashion resale marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned, new, and used fashion items for women, men and children.

PIE is a new tech-enabled digital marketplace for real estate brokers, developers, and individual buyers and sellers. The platform consolidates and analyzes big data helping brokers use their time efficiently, developers monitor their agents’ performance, and individuals make the best buying and selling decision.

G-Cement produces interlocking tiles and other building materials that replace traditional cement through a state-of-the-art manufacturing process that uses plastic waste, sand, and other chemical additives reducing environmental hazards.

Quickit is a ready-to-cook delivery service from restaurants and food bloggers, offering individuals clean, fast, and tasty meals from the comfort of their home's kitchen.

Shopy Baby is a customized e-commerce website and application for baby products, allowing mothers to buy their babies’ needs from day one up to five years smoothly online at competitive prices. Thanks to Shopy Baby, mothers enjoy a unique customer experience, support, and delivery to the door within 24 hours.

CAS Cairo empowers the F&B sector in Egypt by offering certified, world-class culinary programs for young professionals looking to acquire qualified chefs.

Tune in to the fintech accelerator Demo Day here.

Watch the startup accelerator's Nestlé cycle 15 Demo Day here.