AUC Venture Lab Celebrates Graduation of 11th Cycle of Startups
The AUC Venture Lab at the School of Business celebrated the graduation of the 11th cycle of the Startup Acceleration Program and the fifth cycle of the FinTech Acceleration Program.
"This Demo Day, we graduate a new cycle of innovative and impactful startups that contribute to different industries in our ecosystem, including energy, education, e-commerce, health care and fintech," said Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and AUC Venture Lab director. "As AUC V-Lab moves past its five-year marker, we continue to celebrate dedicated work and creative business ideas to support the growing impact of entrepreneurial mindsets.”
As Egypt’s first University-based accelerator, AUC Venture Lab provides acceleration services to startups, leveraging AUC’s intellectual capital, world-class facilities and research capacities. It connects entrepreneurs with a wide network of alumni, faculty, mentors and investors. Over five years, AUC V-Lab has graduated more than 120 startups.
Through its Startup Accelerator, AUC V-Lab offers a 16-week program providing business support for innovative startups to grow their business and boost the Egyptian economy.
AUC V-Lab also houses the FinTech Accelerator, which offers a 16-week customized program for FinTech startups providing entrepreneurs with specialized business finance and technology support, where startups gain valuable insights from some of the smartest minds in the startup and fintech worlds.
Startup Acceleration Program
The Startup Accelerator cycle incubated startups across a myriad of sectors. Focusing on health care, CDOC is a medical consultation app for patients to connect, chat and consult with physicians. The service is provided by specialized doctors who are legally registered at the Egyptian Medical Syndicate in different specialties.
There is also MoDo, a local healthcare directory with more than 44,000 service providers, which enables users to locate the best nearest service provider. It gives them the option to filter providers using insurance network, as well as rate the service and share their experiences in just a few clicks.
Also incubated in this cycle is Instadiet, a web and mobile app that connects users with certified dietitians to address diet challenges. It allows dietitians to maximize their patient capacity while offering patients a hassle-free journey as they can select their dietician, receive tailored meal plans and track their progress, all online.
“AUC V-Lab added value to my startup in two key areas," said Ahmed Tawfik, founder of Instadiet. "First, they introduced me to their network of partners and mentors who helped me close B2B deals that I hadn’t considered before. Second, they introduced me to a network of high-caliber fellow founders with a complementary set of skills that helped push my startup even further."
The cycle also hosts Bio Life, provider of an affordable alternative source of energy for sustainable rural development, as it offers a biogas digester that is easily installed at homes and is both cost- and energy-efficient.
Fintech Acceleration Program
As for the FinTech Acceleration Program, it incubated Gigaaa, an intelligent personal assistant platform that provides users access to all range of products and services through voice command and automatically processes user payments through the Gigaaa wallet while continuously gathering data through machine learning for a more personalized experience.
To ease the routine and red tape, Egr2atk offers a platform to connect individuals with licensed offices to issue governmental documents, to minimize time and effort for users while increasing the capacity of licensed governmental offices. “Being part of the AUC Venture Lab for such a small time helped me build a stronger network as well as discover new opportunities I did not know were available," said Ayman Mostafa, founder of Egr2atk. "Also, I am now equipped with strong tools that will enable me to move forward with my business."
Other startups are FINSOFT SWITCH, a middleware between banks' host and offline delivery channels (POS, E-Commerce and MPOS) supporting banks' payment gateway system and XPay, a digital platform facilitating cashless payments within communities. Through its secure portal and app, XPay works to swiftly manage payments and financial transactions ruling out weak financial controls and time consuming cash-based operations.
Mohamed Abdelmottaleb, co-founder of X Pay, said: “One clear value we gained from the Venture Lab is that we’ve learnt how to challenge our business model and our impact model. We have also been introduced to a good selection of mentors.”