AUC V-Lab's FinTech Accelerator Selected as a Highlight in AACSB's 2020 Innovations That Inspire Challenge

The Venture Lab's Fintech Accelerator at The American University in Cairo (AUC) has 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. AUC Venture Lab’s FinTech Accelerator has also been selected for devising initiatives that are wide-ranging and emphasize research, experiential learning, cross-disciplinary efforts, and community engagement, among others.

The AACSB Innovations That Inspire Challenge is an annual initiative that recognizes institutions from around the world serving as champions of change in the business education landscape. 

"We are honored to feature the AUC School of Business and the V-Lab Fintech Accelerator for their valuable role in elevating entrepreneurship through research, teaching, and community engagement. The demand for innovation that engages experts across disciplines and addresses the needs of both local and global communities has never been more apparent than in these unprecedented times,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president, and CEO of AACSB.

The AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator supports Egypt’s commitment to financial inclusion and the recent focus on digital finance through a customized 16-week program that accelerates high-growth, innovation-driven startups through intensive training, specialized coaching, industry mentorship, networking and investment opportunities, access to facilities, and seed funding. To date, the program has graduated 32 FinTech startups (10 of which are currently operating in the market) as well as engaged and trained 100 financial-sector professionals to mentor entrepreneurs and help them maneuver the market.

“We are thrilled to have the AUC V-Lab Fintech Accelerator selected as part of the AACSB 2020 Innovations That Inspire. At the AUC School of Business, we strongly believe that our impact should extend beyond the classroom both on and off-campus,” said Sherif Kamel, dean of the School of Business, AUC. Our AUC V-Lab Fintech Accelerator is a testimony to our continuous strive to serve our community with all the changes and transformations taking place.

Ayman Ismail, founding director of AUC Venture Lab said: “Fintech has the potential to disrupt the way businesses and consumers operate by simplifying payments, expanding access to finance, introducing efficiencies to supply chains, and reducing informality. By doing so, we’re expanding financial inclusion and also enabling business innovations that are not possible otherwise,” asserted Ayman Ismail, founding director of the AUC Venture Lab. “Our Fintech Accelerator is a catalyst for these innovative startups, building an ecosystem of partners in government, industry, and academia.”

The Fintech Accelerator continues to lead through COVID-19, moving all of its program support to the virtual world and conducting sessions for the entrepreneurs on skills they need to survive, along with mentorship meetings with prominent banking, technology, and financial professionals. In addition, to further foster the development of ideas that can serve and facilitate the population’s financial needs, the Fintech Accelerator launched Egypt’s first fully online Digital Payments Ideathon, Eureka, where nine teams received design thinking and fintech training while competing to come up with the most innovative, relevant, and applicable ideas of fintech solutions for a real-life Digital Payments challenge. 

 

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The American University in Cairo (AUC) was founded in 1919 and is major contributor to the social, political and cultural life of the Arab Region. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions, and study abroad programs. An independent, nonprofit, apolitical, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.