Entrepreneurship has gradually been taking center stage in different venues globally. In an effort to compete on a global level, AUC's School of Business has identified the three pillars of entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership as its main focus.
In collaboration with different stakeholders at AUC and partners within the community, the School of Business established the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) in 2010 to help realize the school’s mission "to create an environment that fosters the development of principled and innovative business leaders and entrepreneurs who can make a difference." The program seeks to educate students as to what entrepreneurship is and infuse them with the desire to create and innovate by connecting them to venture capitalists, angel investors and mentors. The program aims at creating a healthy entrepreneurial environment inside AUC, which will serve Egypt and the region at large.
EIP identifies, mentors, incubates, connects and supports youth and facilitates their success beyond AUC, into Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa region. Since its launch, EIP has enaged in raising awareness, mentoring, competitions, training and incubation programs and boot camps, as well as connecting entrepreneurs with investors. Over a short period, EIP activities have addressed more than 5,000 entrepreneurs from all over Egypt, including Cairo, Giza, Mansoura, Alexandria and Aswan, as well as in Lebanon and Dubai.
As part of EIP’s development in 2013, it now manages AUC's newly launched AUC Venture Lab, a startup accelerator and incubator located in the School of Business that serves the University and extends beyond. The mission of the AUC Venture Lab is to translate technologies and innovations that are developed by Egypt-based startups into commercially viable ventures, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation. AUC Venture Lab enables innovative startups to capitalize on AUC’s knowledge, wide network, outstanding facilities and alumni in various countries, while fostering an environment of innovation, education and business.
AUC Venture Lab requirements
After the idea stage and before completing the market strategy, startups should:
- Have a clear business plan
- Have or be working on a prototype/pilot/proof of concept
- Have innovative approach to solving/filling an existing demand, i.e. should not be a copy cat of any existing business in Egypt
- Have a team of founders, with at least one working full time
- Funding of LE 20,000
- Business training sessions
- Networking events
- Access to AUC faculty members
- Access to AUC students
- Access to AUC facilities