AUC V-Lab Celebrates the Graduation of the Startup and Fintech Accelerators Showcasing Products and Services of 13 Startups
December 6, 2018, Cairo – The Venture Lab (V-Lab) at The American University in Cairo (AUC)’s School of Business celebrated yesterday 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, healthcare and fintech. 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,” said Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and AUC Venture Lab Director.
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.
The Startup Accelerator cycle incubated startups across a myriad of sectors. Focusing on healthcare, 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, that enables users to locate the best nearest service provider. It gives users the option to filter providers using insurance network as well as rate the service and share their experience 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. 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,” said Ahmed Tawfik, founder of Instadiet.
Revolutionizing the real estate sector is 3D Property Viewer, an online property marketing platform that utilizes 3D and VR technologies to offer a display of all aspects of a property; property sellers can display their units in a 360° view to ensure buyers receive a real-life digitized experience.
Focusing on education, Teacher’s Hub, an educational recruitment platform, connects schools and teachers. Unlike other job boards, Teacher's Hub has a filtration system for applications to ensure that all candidates’ profiles - educators or administrators - are relevant to the education field. Another startup is Presentlee, a one-stop application for students to take photos/videos in class while simultaneously recording audio. Presentlee combines the collected material along with students’ notes to be exported as PowerPoint presentations or as videos; which are accessible on any device. This cycle also features Agora, an augmented reality (AR) mobile application that allows students to learn from real-life objects. Agora combines technology with different learning theories to offer an interactive learning platform where students can scan, select and explore any object.
Working on transport is Tink, a social riding mobile application that enables users to organize both on-demand and pre-planned car sharing within their social networks and geographical locations.
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.
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. Also, I am now equipped with strong tools that will enable me to move forward with my business,” said Ayman Mostafa, founder of Egr2atk.
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.”