Keeping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive Through Competitions
For Ahmed Mousa, a computer science graduate student, national and international competitions keep him on his toes in today’s fast-paced startup market.
“I might not win every competition that I participate in, but the experience gives me the boost I need to become better at what I love ,” said Mousa, a recipient of the Laboratory Instruction Graduate Fellowship at AUC.
Mousa recently took part in the Injaz startup competition and the Ericsson Innovation Awards, and has applied to the AUC Venture Lab’s sixth cycle. Creativity, he noted, is key to fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, and this is where AUC has played an important role for him. “The main advantage of studying at AUC is that it gives you the space to be creative and take part in activities that help you advance in your career,” he said. “At AUC, there is always something new to explore and ways to expose your creativity. It’s difficult to find this at other universities.”
Passion for Technology
With a passion for technology, Mousa created his own software solution startup, TechTroll, in 2009 when he had just graduated from college. “I didn’t want to spend my time applying to different companies and working from 9 to 5,” said Mousa. “I thought it would be better to apply what I learned in something that could eventually become my own company. Real-life job experience comes from creating your own project from scratch and learning how to make it successful.”
Today, Mousa is engrossed in developing startup ideas in the software market by competing in a multitude of startup competitions. Currently, he and his AUC teammates, Lina Eissa and Abdullah Galal, are in the incubation phase of the startup competition organized by Injaz Egypt, a nonprofit organization that actively engages aspiring local entrepreneurs to present ideas that can contribute to the growth of local and global communities.
At the Injaz competition, Mousa and his team are introducing a cloud platform, CloudMarche, for supermarkets. “Supermarkets in Egypt use outdated, inefficient software,” Mousa explained. “We believe we could elevate the technology they use with smart features. Through the app we’re creating, customers can purchase products and have them delivered to their homes. The software will also help supermarkets have better store management through features such as short-stock alerts and a remote monitoring system where they can easily track the number of sales.”
At the 2016 Ericsson Innovation Awards, which focused on improving the quality of urban life, the challenge was to develop an app that tracks unreported community problems. “Unfortunately, my team didn’t get enough votes to reach the final phase of the contest, but I believe we have good ideas that could eventually be developed to benefit the Egyptian community,” he said.
Mousa’s entrepreneurial spirit keeps growing with every new project he undertakes. His company’s most recent project is the London Cab app, which serves as an airport shuttle service in Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. For Mousa, starting small will always lead to great successes. “Hearing about a new product or simple idea that came out of an attic or garage and ended up in California’s Silicon Valley keeps me motivated,” he said. “It’s okay to start out small, as long as we always aim big.”