The School of Business at The American University in Cairo (AUC) is celebrating today the graduation of the fifth cycle of AUC Venture Lab (V-Lab), where 12 incubated startups are showcasing their products and services that range from software, online platforms, websites and mobile apps. “Over the past two years, the AUC Venture Lab has worked with 46 high-potential startups to help them launch their business. Today, many of these startups are showing amazing progress in terms of revenues generated, investments attracted and jobs created, as well as international recognition. Our current incubation cycle includes 12 innovative and promising startups driven by excellent teams,” said Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel, assistant professor and endowed chair of entrepreneurship.The V-Lab incubated 12 startups this cycle , including Azamoka, Chalkfii, Dshirts.me, Escape HD, Frien10, Korsatk, Koshk Comics, Omash.com, Payme, Pesos, Rakna and Windrose.
The event, which is held today at AUC New Cairo campus, is attended by AUC President Lisa Anderson; Karim Seghir, dean of AUC’s School of Business; Ismail and SODIC CEO Magued Sherif.
Seghir said, “we launched the AUC Venture Lab in 2013 to translate technologies and innovations into commercially viable and scalable ventures, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation. I am glad that, despite its young age, the AUC V-Lab has incubated very promising and innovative startups which will definitely become successful, scalable and impactful businesses in Egypt and the Arab region."
AUC V-Lab is the first university-based incubator in Egypt that aims to commercialize technologies and innovations developed by Egypt-based startups into commercially viable ventures.
The fifth cycle has introduced diverse startups, one of them is Rakna, a mobile application for a valet on demand service. “As a team, we really believe in the importance of people and networking and that’s what the AUC V-Lab offers us. With a versatile team of mentors to challenge and develop our ideas, we were able to have a different perspective and a stronger solid foundation for our startup," said Ahmed Zaki, CEO of Rakna.
Among the startups are Windrose, a software development firm that specializes in devising customized software solutions for businesses and organizations; Azamoka, a mobile games studio that creates a variety of games for both entertainment and educational purposes and Chalkifi, an online platform that allows users to hold meetings and share information through a chalkboard. Also this cycle introduces, Dshirts.me, which allows everyone to digitize t-shirts per piece competing with top brands’ quality, while maintaining affordable prices.
Escape HD, is a startup that offers headsets with the vision of making virtual reality affordable and accessible allowing everyone to experience the impossible in the world of gaming, cinema and storytelling. "Making your own startup is a journey and the most important thing the V-Lab offers is a group of entrepreneurs to share that journey with. Each one of us is very strong in his/her field so putting us all together is making each and every one of us even stronger. I’m sure that when our startups succeed, we would owe a big part of this success to the V-Lab ," said Mohamed El- Eryan, CEO of Escape
Fien10, is an online platform that connects individuals with similar interests, who live in the same area, to come together. As for Korsatk, it is a website that connects training centers and potential clients, whereby clients can have the opportunity to choose between a variety of courses and centers. Koshk Comics, is a mobile app for digital comics available on smart mobiles and tablets. Omash.com is an online directory that collects fabrics from tailors all across Egypt and displays them online for customers to purchase and use for design products. As for Payme, it is a startup that allows businesses to accept card payments through their customized Quick Response (QR) Code, in order to reduce the hassle of long bank procedures and hardware installation costs. "V-Lab is where I validated my idea, learned how to implement it, and met people who helped me do so. Simply it is the place where dreams come true," said Hessain Almenawy, co-founder of Payme.