The Venture Lab (V-Lab) at The American University in Cairo (AUC)’s School of Business celebrated the graduation of the Fall’17 cycle of its FinTech Accelerator, powered by the Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB). The FinTech Accelerator Demo Day held at AUC New Campus allowed the five incubated startups: 7aweshly, Liqwd, ElGameya, Swift and 3alam, to pitch their business ideas and showcase their services. "Financial technologies (FinTech) are starting to transform the financial services industry in Egypt through new innovative offerings that will expand financial inclusion. FinTech is also becoming one of the most interesting playgrounds for entrepreneurs,” said Ayman Ismail, director of AUC V-Lab, Abdul Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and assistant professor, “AUC Venture Lab and CIB are joining forces for the third time in a row to support FinTech entrepreneurs implement their innovations in Egypt. Today we celebrate the graduation of five promising FinTech startups that are ready to launch their services.”AUC Venture Lab houses the FinTech accelerator, powered by CIB, a 12-week program for FinTech startups aimed to provide a specialized support to take their business further, gain invaluable insights from some of the smartest minds in the start-up and FinTech world and increase their impact on the Egyptian economy.
7aweshly, one of the startups incubated in this cycle, is a mobile app targeting youth between 16-21 years old, who are outside the reach of banks due to age restrictions. The app helps users achieve financial targets or buy dream products through a micro-savings solution. “The Venture Lab was a huge boost for our startup from idea stage to MVP level through a series of sessions and networking. Its environment provided us with a great chance to mingle with other startups and exchange ideas and opportunities,” said Mina Youssef, co-founder of 7aweshly.
As for Liqwd, it is a startup that offers a quick and easy way to sell unwanted products and capture their value. Users can request to directly sell their products to the company on liqwdate.com or list them on their e-commerce platform cizlo.com. Based on the value of their items, the users get paid on their Liqwd wallet and their balance can be cashed out, used online or offline at merchants’ stores. “The V-Lab has been a crucial stepping stone, providing our startup with the resources, connections, and guidance to help us kick off and move forward,” said Ibrahim Eid, co-founder of Liqwd.
Designed to organize and manage micro savings and credit, based on the ROSCA model, ElGameya is a mobile application that mainly provides microcredit and collaborative lending solutions and is based on the concept of sharing economy.
Swift, a prepaid card available at various points of sale, is designed to provide users with an easy, secure and instant method of payment, bringing retailers, consumers and financial institutions together.
For struggling working parents who are looking to finance their kids’ education, 3alam is an education marketplace that facilitates microloans. Users can access 3alam’s online platform to select their desired courses and choose an appropriate payment plan.
AUC Venture Lab is Egypt’s first university-based incubator and accelerator. The lab enables startups to capitalize on AUC’s intellectual capital, world-class facilities and research capacities. It connects innovative startups with AUC’s network that includes alumni, faculty, mentors and investors. Through this, it fosters a thriving ecosystem of innovation, education and responsible business. The mission of the AUC Venture Lab is twofold: to help Egyptian startups commercialize their innovative technologies and business models into viable ventures that contribute to economic growth, competitiveness and job creation; and to provide a learning and research platform for the AUC community to connect with entrepreneurs.