AUC Venture Lab Partners with Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park to Support Regional Entrepreneurship
AUC and the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) are partnering to support entrepreneurship and strengthen the startup ecosystem in the MENA region. Through knowledge sharing between AUC Venture Lab and SRTI Park, this agreement will provide guidance and support to startups in the Egyptian and Emirati markets.
“This collaboration marks a great step for startups in the Egyptian and Emirati ecosystems," said Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel Chair of Entrepreneurship and associate professor at the School of Business and founding director of the AUC Venture Lab. "We are facilitating knowledge sharing, extending market insights and resources beyond local boundaries, and expanding our offerings to create regional impact."
Ismail added that through regional and international partnerships, “AUC Venture Lab is committed to the growth of the region's entrepreneurial capacity from two of MENA’s biggest startup ecosystems.”
Cooperation will also include joint hackathons, knowledge sessions and various startup exchange opportunities.
Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said, “The signing of this MOU with AUC is an important step toward further cooperation in joint research and development between Sharjah and Cairo. This partnership reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and ruler of Sharjah.”
Al Mahmoudi also highlighted the need for cooperation with the academic and research institutions in the region to attract investment to the Emirate of Sharjah's innovation sector.
As Egypt’s first university-based accelerator, AUC Venture Lab (V-Lab) provides acceleration services to startups, leveraging AUC’s intellectual capital, world-class facilities and research capacities. It connects entrepreneurs with a vast network of alumni, faculty, mentors and investors. Over seven years, AUC V-Lab has graduated more than 200 startups. The V-Lab has attracted LE1.6 billion in investments and helped in the creation of more than 8,000 jobs. V-Lab’s startups have also generated LE560 million in revenues for the Egyptian economy.
AUC V-Lab offers 16-week customized programs for innovative scalable startups across a variety of emerging industries including health care, financial, technology, energy and sustainability, e-commerce and creative industries. To help entrepreneurs penetrate the market, grow their businesses and land funding, AUC V-Lab programs provide entrepreneurs with extensive business training, dedicated coaching, mentorship from some of the brightest minds as well as different networking and investment opportunities.
AUC V-Lab has been recognized with four awards from UBI Global, an international research company that highlights the best performing and most impactful incubation programs around the world. The AUC Venture Lab Fintech Accelerator has also been selected, out of more than 1,700 business schools, among 25 highlighted innovations in the AACSB Innovations That Inspire Challenge, as a catalyst for innovation for exemplifying forward-looking approaches and mindsets through leading efforts to elevate entrepreneurial thinking and new business creation.
Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) was established in 2016 by royal decree of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and ruler of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. SRTI Park aims to develop and manage an innovation ecosystem within a free zone that promotes research and development and supports enterprise activities and the triple helix collaboration of industry, government and academia. SRTI Park continues extensively in its efforts to attract and host knowledge-intensive businesses. The thematic pillars SRTI Park focuses on are water technology, renewable energy, environmental technology, digitization, Industrial Design 4.0, and transportation and logistics. The aim of SRTI Park is to provide an environment conducive to creativity and innovation by creating an attractive and sustainable park with world-class infrastructure and services, supporting, promoting and developing the innovation system and to enhance the Emirate's status as a global destination in the fields of research and technology.