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StartUp Safari is an event that You Don’t Want to Miss

In collaboration with RiseUp, Startup Safari came to Cairo for the second time and took place on 11 and 12th of March. Startup Safari is a tour where different startups in the ecosystem open their own doors to the attendees. Once again RiseUp took the initiative and organized a very successful 2-day tour around successful startups, and accelerators in Cairo.

The visit started with Urban Station- a co-working space- where attendees were introduced to the co- working space environment and the different services they provide to their customers. During the visit, Hashem -an entrepreneur who sets his office in Urban Station- Co-founder of Moather, an online platform that connects content writers together, gave a small talk about how a startup can work virtually if the teams are not in the same country. He also mentioned some the challenges they met and the talk was followed by a very interactive Q&A session.

The next stop was at the famous startup Instabug. The attendees took a tour into the office. The office environment presented the team’s fun, active and creative spirit which was easily conveyed to the attendees. In each room in the Instabug’s office, you can find a different yet very creative theme that can help you unleash your ideas and help you develop your idea in the most creative way. Although they work hard to reach their goal, they do not forget to have fun and bond together all the time. The team‘s passion to work and to the startup’s success was obvious during the presentation they gave to the attendees on that day.

The third and last stop during the first day of the tour was at Flat6Labs. Willie Elamein, Managing Director Flat6Labs, gave a small presentation about the accelerator and the future of startups/ entrepreneurship in the MENA region. He also talked about the key factors that make you (a startup/idea) eligible to join Flat6labs which are having a technical and business development member in your team, the story telling of the innovation/ the idea itself and finally the market size (the potential of the idea).

On the next day, RiseUp team took the attendees on a tour around different entities – VCs, startups etc. in The AUC GrEEk Campus. The tour started with Orcas – CairoSitters, the marketplace for tutors and babysitters as they call it. Amira El Gharib, Orcas General Manager, introduced Orcas and the process of the startup as well as the challenges that they met at the beginning and the challenges they are having in the meantime to transition from offline to online as well as finding the most effective way to fill in the gaps.

RiseUp team didn’t want their attendees to view only one side or two sides of the ecosystem, that’s why Cairo Angels was the next stop. Menna Abdel Rahman, General Manager at Cairo Angels, gave a small talk about their role in the ecosystem and their criteria in choosing both Investors and startups and the potential Cairo Angels see in the startups they invest in and she gave GetMumm as a live example and said testing is the key and this is What GetMumm team did when they first started. The visit ended by some questions and then the attendees moved to MO4 Network.  

At MO4 Network, the attendees saw a different side of the ecosystem, the media side. MO4 is a creative media agency that manages CairoZoom and CairoScene and recently Startup Scene that focuses only on the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Valentina Primo, Editor at Large of Startup Scene and Editor of Scene Humans at CairoScene, toured the attendees around MO4 Network and spoke about what they do generally and introduced MO4’s different teams. Then Valentina explained the different factors/ techniques aka different media channels around us that get help in reaching out to more audience.

Going back to the startups' environment, the attendees landed at Makouk startup, which creates educational games for children and adults. As I said before each startup has its own spirit and it tries to reflect it to the attendees in one way or another.  Makouk divided the attendees into 2 groups and shared with them their story and some of the games they produce. The attendees had so much fun while competing with each other and try winning the game and this made them ready to the last stop which was Injaz, Egypt.

In Injaz, Egypt Ibrahim Mahgoub, Entrepreneurship Programs Consultant, gave a presentation about why incubators fail; where he listed 3 main reasons about this issue. First was program design elaborating that an incubator is more than just space for startups to develop their product at and this shouldn’t be the case. The second was value-added metrics, where incubators focus on being the next unicorn instead of focusing on the value itself. Third and last was mentorship where some incubators get the right mentor but they do not utilize his/her capabilities as it should be. For example, you can’t get a mentor who is expert at giving 5 min. mentorship and tell him to give a 2-hour mentorship session etc.

The tour was filled with very useful information about the entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as exposure and networking opportunities. Also, we were able to see the different environment of each startup and know more about them as well as what motivates them to move forward. The attendees were very happy and a lot them said positive feedbacks about the tour and wished that there would be more startups next time. 

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