Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
22 September 2021
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing Agreement between ITIDA, Plug and Play

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Plug and Play, a worldwide leading Company specializing in nurturing and upscaling startups. The aim is to establish a strategic partnership to boost Egypt’s entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem.

The agreement targets creating a vibrant startup community at the Creativa Innovation Hub in Sultan Hussein Kamel Palace in Cairo and cement Egypt as the premier center for innovation-driven entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

ITIDA CEO Amr Mahfouz and Plug and Play CEO and Founder Saeed Amidi signed the agreement.

Commenting on the agreement, the ICT Minister stressed that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is keen to promote entrepreneurship and foster tech- and innovation-driven projects. MCIT endeavors to create an enabling environment for the growth of startups as part of the plan of building Digital Egypt and in light of Egypt's achievements and progress in this field at the regional and international levels.

Talaat added that the agreement would reinforce MCIT efforts in advancing entrepreneurship through partnering with one of the major companies specializing in startup incubation and acceleration. In addition, he said that MCIT is establishing Creativa Innovation Hubs nationwide to promote entrepreneurship and empower university students and entrepreneurs through developing their innovation skills and supporting their ICT projects.

ITIDA CEO emphasized that Plug and Play is one of the world's leaders in managing innovation hubs. He added that the Company's presence in Egypt would add value to the startup ecosystem, thus positively reflecting on regional and international reports.

Mahfouz clarified that Egypt's global standing and ranking are expected to be higher this year thanks to the boom in the entrepreneurship scene and the surge of investments in Egyptian startups YoY. He added that the country's high rankings are also attributed to the government's investment in establishing Creativa Innovation Hubs to equip young people with technology innovation and freelancing skills and foster technology startups.

For his part, Amidi said that Plug and Play is excited to have an office in Egypt. He thanked the ICT Minister for supporting this journey as the Company looks forward to accelerating and incubating Egyptian startups.

Plug and Play Vice President Sobhan Khani highlighted that the Egyptian economy will list among the world’s top 10 economies by 2030. He said that the talent and entrepreneurship culture in Egypt provides an incredible opportunity for the Company to establish an office with the help of ITIDA, adding that Plug and Play is excited about this new launch.

The three-year agreement involves launching an innovation platform for startups in Cairo, with focusing on digital transformation. A program will be launched for accelerating 60 growth-stage startups and incubating 60 early-stage startups. The agreement aspires to attract $20 million-worth investments in the beneficiary technology startups while creating 500 job opportunities.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Assistant ICT Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy; the Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technology Innovation, Electronics Industry and Training Hossam Osman; Egypt Post Secretary-General Ahmed Mansour; and Egypt Post Vice-Chairman Ehab Abu Bakr.

Establishing a Creativa Innovation Hub at Sultan Hussein Kamel Palace is part of a national plan to transform some cultural heritage buildings into youth innovation hubs. The project is also part of MCIT strategy to establish Creativa Innovation Hubs across Egypt to promote technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The Palace is being transformed into an innovation hub while preserving its architectural character and cultural value. The Hub will include laboratories of tech giants, emerging technologies facilities, startup incubators, training halls, meeting rooms, and co-working spaces.

Based in Silicon Valley, California, US, Plug and Play is one of the world's most prominent investors in early-stage startups; it has invested in almost 1,000 startups. The Company is also one of the top innovation-enablement platforms worldwide, with around 40 offices in 19 countries. Plug and Play adopts a unique business model that involves fostering and boosting innovation through establishing sustainable partnerships between big businesses and startups.

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