Egyptian Entrepreneurs Take Control
While Egypt continues to struggle through political crisis, its leading economic lights have been slowly organising: and there are now a number of exciting developments.
Ahmed Abdel Hafez, executive director of iFilms Media Production, has launched 'Entrepreneur', a media platform incorporating an online portal, magazine, radio program and television show. All of which, as I'm sure you guessed, are aimed at Egypt's young entrepreneurs. Better still, the team behind the project is determined to keep its affairs apolitical. Instead, they will focus on advising, encouraging and supporting the nation's startups.
Hafez's efforts reflect an increasing swell of activity in the MENA region, with the Wamda platform already actively informing and investing in dozens of young startups. Indeed, Egypt has an emerging talent pool that is crying out for networking and investment opportunities. In August this year, Egyptian bug reporting tool 'Instabug' was chosen as the only African finalist in The Next Web's Mobile Startup Rally. This is despite the fact that its creators were prevented from launching their app at San Francisco's MobileBeat 2013 by the violent clashes taking place outside their Giza home.
With these examples in mind, it's clear to see that Egypt has the potential to be a startup hotspot. Here at entrepreneurcountry we are currently working with a regional affiliate in Egypt to provide startups with access to large corporates willing to invest. This can quickly transform their fortunes, enabling them to disrupt the market within which they operate.
Other publications are also identifying Egypt as a growth area for startups. Businessweek recently reported a renewed interest in the country from investors, as they increasingly acknowledge that the premium is worth the risk of the country's instability. What's more, US-based investor, entrepreneur and author Christopher M. Schroeder has been widely publicising the potential of high-tech businesses to transform the Middle East.
With so much potential predicted, and with Egyptian entrepreneurs building the networks that are so vital to fostering innovation, there is plenty to be hopeful for in Egypt. And if the network effect of entrepreneurcountry takes hold, increasing the value of these new associations of entrepreneurs and their businesses, there's every chance that Egypt will prove itself to be fertile territory for investors in the not-too-distant future.