17 February 2021
ICT Minister Witnesses French-Egyptian Startup Competition Awards Ceremony

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talat and the French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet have witnessed the awards ceremony of the first round of the French-Egyptian Startup Competition, where the eight winning startups were announced and honored.

The competition aims to enhance bilateral cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship, and help Egyptian startups grow to become leading companies in digital transformation.

The ICT Minister underlined that Egypt invests heavily in developing young people’s digital capacities to qualify them to build Digital Egypt, create a knowledge-based information society, and produce value. He added that the awards ceremony is a proof of the excellence and creative thinking of young Egyptians, which is the mainstay of the ICT industry.

Talat commended the efforts of the Egyptian-French partnership in capacity building, Research and Development (R&D) in specialized technologies and in promoting innovation using digital technologies. He referred to the productive cooperation with major academic institutions in France to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) and hone young people’s skills in this field.

The ICT Minister called on the competition organizers to introduce young people to new areas and different challenges to help develop innovative solutions using the technology they will be trained on within the next round of the competition.

Talaat said that for young people, this competition is not the end of the road, it is however the first step in the road to continuous work, thinking and creativity, which require young people to keep striving to develop them.

The ICT Minister also said that all the competition participants are winners, as they gained experience through learning different technologies and receiving intensive training. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will keep supporting startups and promoting innovative work and entrepreneurship among young people nationwide, in the light of the plan of establishing Creativa Innovation Hubs in governorates, he added.

For his part, the French Ambassador said he was happy to participate in the awards ceremony of the competition that represents the first step in the new journey of cooperation between Egypt and France in innovation and entrepreneurship. He added that entrepreneurship is now more important than ever for supporting the growth of a sustainable economy. Romatet stated that Egypt has a distinguished entrepreneurship ecosystem that has so much to offer.

The competition was launched in November 2019. It was co-organized by the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and other partners. The participating startups were sponsored by key players in the business community, including Crédit Agricole, AXA, Orange, Schneider Electric, Danone, Sanofi and Valeo. They provided support, technical expertise and cash prizes to the winners.

Participants of the competition received intensive online training in areas including finance, pitching skills for investments, innovation, building relationships with investors, industry and establishing active communication with the innovators community. This is in addition to topics on startup growth, delivered by the competition partners and specialists in innovation and entrepreneurship development in Egypt, namely TIEC, Falak Startups, Flat6Labs and EFG EV Fintech.

Egyptian startups, through the competition, were able to use modern technologies to develop systems and applications that contribute to addressing societal and economic challenges in health, fintech and sustainable cities.

Two startups, out of over 150 finalists, won in each of the competition categories. In the Health category, 3elagi won the first prize, and Bypa-ss won the second. In Fintech, ElGameya won the first prize, and Ocra won the second. In Sustainable Cities, Transport for Cairo won the first prize, while Hood won the second.

Two other startups won a special award for promoting innovative work capitalizing on technology. The Coup de Coeur Award, presented by the French Chambre of Commerce in Egypt, were awarded to NanoEbers, while the Community Award, presented by Orange Egypt, were awarded to Tink. These two startups received the most votes on EgyptInnovate platform.

The competition is the fruit of the Egyptian-French cooperation that aims to support the Egyptian community of entrepreneurs and innovators in digital technology. The initiative was launched after a Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed during the visit of French President to Egypt, in January 2019, with the aim to promote entrepreneurship and boost the growth of the startups specializing in digital services.

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