The awards ceremony for Fekrety (My Idea), a national business idea competition that seeks to help young entrepreneurs launch successful businesses, was held yesterday at The American University in Cairo AUC in Bassily Auditorium. The ceremony is the culmination of six months of competitive activities between students from universities across Egypt, including AUC. Fekrety, organized by the School of Business’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, in cooperation with Intel, featured demonstrations of 43 business ideas that have been developed over the past several months by teams of young Egyptian entrepreneurs. The purpose of the competition is to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt by helping the next generation create and lead their successful business ventures.
A jury board announced winners and prizes at the ceremony yesterday. The idea Toub Al Torba Al madghout won the first place prize, LE50,000, presented by the AUC School of Business. Team Shams won the second place prize and will represent Intel in the US Berkley International Competition. Simu World and Theradolls won LE10,000 award; Make Movie.com will get access to flat6labs accelerator for three month; Beit Al Saada won the best social idea award and Recycle Egypt won best green award. In addition, twenty ideas received scholarships at Dale Carnegie Management Training while ten ideas won four intensive English level training from Berlitz.
“The competition prompts business ideas from Egypt’s most important asset its youth,” said Ghada Hafez, entrepreneurship and innovation program manager at EIP. “The ultimate aim is to bolster the entrepreneurial environment in the country by augmenting fresh and innovative endeavors.”
Fekrety sought the participation of students from universities across various Egyptian governorates, encouraging youth to come forth with innovative business propositions and creating a direct link between new and experienced entrepreneurs. Participants were provided with networking opportunities and content-rich feedback on their business models from world-class entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, faculty members, as well as the competition’s judging panel. They participated in team-building initiatives and given media exposure, through which promising business ideas were fast-tracked.
From green technologies to retail, competition submissions encompassed a wide range of sectors, tackling critical issues within Egyptian society today. The competition’s jury welcomed more than 300 business ideas, where the greatest number of entries embodied educational and health-related solutions a true testimony of how relevant and representative the proposals were.
Teams attended workshops and weeklong training sessions on the inception of successful business plans, product and service development, marketing and sales concepts, team building and management, as well as financing their ventures. During the second phase of the competition, select teams were enrolled in mentorship programs and given access to the Mentors 100 network, EIP’s exclusive database of capitalists and enterprise gurus.
“In Egypt, the business environment’s biggest challenge is not the lack of novel entrepreneurial ideas,” said Ayman Ismail, assistant professor at the Department of Management and Fekrety mentor. “There are very few entities out there that are willing to incubate and provide support to young entrepreneurs. AUC’s Fekrety aspires to change this by providing promising ventures with access to expertise, know-how and networking opportunities.”