The Venture Lab (V-Lab) at The American University in Cairo (AUC)’s School of Business celebrated yesterday the graduation of the Shell Cycle 9 of the V-Lab, where 12 incubated startups showcased their products and services. “This year, the strategic partnership between Shell Intilaaqah Egypt and AUC Venture Lab will streamline exchanges between both programs, which share the same aspiration to achieve maximum positive impact on the lives of young Egyptian entrepreneurs; the fruitful partnerships that contribute to national economic development,” said engineer Gasser Hanter, Egypt VP and Country Chairman of Shell.Ayman Ismail, director of AUC V-Lab, Abdul Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and assistant professor, said, It’s always a pleasure celebrating our startups’ hard work. This demo day marks the end of our ninth cycle and we are very happy to be graduating eager entrepreneurs with fresh innovative ideas, and the necessary knowledge and skills to launch them.”
In Shell Cycle 9, AUC Venture Lab incubated 12 startups: Furvive; Surv; Smartly.Fit; Nozol; Takestep; Beitify; Rology; En2el; WiRE Microsystems; Jinni; Roshetta and Vapulus.
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 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.
On the Demo Day of V-Lab, startups presented their work and were evaluated based on milestones achieved during incubation.
Structuring operating systems, designing and coding advanced system recovery solutions, WiRE Microsystems, which is a generic software startup company, is one of the 12 startups that presented their work on Demo Day. "Before joining AUC Venture Lab, we had the technology that can make people's life better and easier by providing XMACHINE, our first product, which is the world's fastest and most efficient solution for recovery software. But, we made many mistakes turning it to a business, which is clearly a bigger challenge than having the technology itself,” said Mahmoud Saad, founder of WiRE Microsystems. “After joining AUC Venture Lab, we now have a clear vision of the commercial layout of our products and services with a clear business model and value proposition designed to address many critical factors that we haven’t even noticed before,” he said.
Saad explained that through the V-Lab’s guidance and mentorship, their startup’s customer model has vastly improved, “The V-Lab team has been available through every step of the way, they have inspired us to improve our technologies and basically shaped the business side for WiRE Microsystems.”
Another startup aiming to improve businesses is Surv, which is an app that bridges the gap between customers and business owners. Through Surv, customers’ complaints and suggestions are compiled and reported directly to the registered business owner.
For the first time in AUC Venture Lab cycles, a startup, Takestep, tackles addiction. Based on the principles of the recovery stages program, Takestep provides patients, practitioners and guardians with the first socio-medical integrated web and mobile platform that connects them with one another and empowers them to take control of the recovery process.
As for Smartly.Fit, it is a technology and service provider for gyms, which provides hardware that transforms existing strength training equipment into smartly connected machines to automatically track workout activities and send all collected data to a cloud server.
Rology is an on-demand teleradiology platform that connects patients with radiologists. Through Rology, patients can upload their CT-scans, MRIs and X-rays in quick and easy steps to communicate with radiologists on the platform.
To help patients get easier access to medicine, Roshetta, an online platform, connects patients and customers to the nearest pharmacy, where users can either order the needed medicine directly or scan a prescription.
Nozol, a real estate CRM platform for developers and brokers, allows clients to manage their prospective pipeline and share real estate supply and demand on the startup’s website.
Another startup that showcased its work in Demo Day is Beitify, which connects users who want to furnish their home with the top furnishing providers in Egypt, through an app and website. It allows furnishing stores to create and modify their own accounts with their updated inventory for customers to view.
As for Furvive, it is an online furniture store, which designs and delivers size-friendly and smart furniture to customers' doorsteps.
With the aim of reducing time and efforts in transportation, En2el is a land transport logistics platform that empowers customers and cargo service providers with technology tools and operational expertise, while maximizing the utilization of the operating trucks.
Vapulus is an app that enables easy online payment. Users only need to have a username and a smart phone to be able to send and receive payments and transfer money.
Alaa Shams, the co-founder of Jinni, which provides high quality cleaning services by hiring well trained and trustworthy cleaning professionals to home residents, movers and businesses, said, "AUC Venture Lab program helped us see the bigger picture, know what we were missing and the areas we needed to improve. At the V-Lab, we were lucky to be part of a big entrepreneurial family, have access to a large network of professionals and mentors, work side by side with talented like-minded entrepreneurs and share our experiences. All this helped us learn so much from each other and enabled us to grow."