North African startups victorious at MIT Arab Startup Competition

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Startups from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have taken home a number of prizes from the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, where 76 teams battled it out for their share of US$150,000.

The MIT pan-Arab Enterprise Forum hosted the startups competition in partnership with Community Jameel and the Zain Group, with 76 teams from 15 Arab countries chosen to compete from among 5,967 applications.

The competition was divided into three tracks – ideas, startups, and social entrepreneurship.

In the ideas track, African startups prevailed. Egypt’s Tutorama – a marketplace of pre-vetted, professionally recruited school tutors, also allowing tutors to be contacted and booked – came in first place, securing US$50,000.

In second place was Deep OR from Morocco, providing data analytics and operations research to help make quick and educated resource allocation decisions.  The third place went to Morocco’s Ostor Lab, which has created a cloud-based mobile application vulnerability scanner.

In the startups category, Egyptian startup Zamen – which has created a mobile app for real-time news feeds, filtered to display only the topics users interested in – was awarded second prize; pipped to first place by Kuwaiti startup Ghinwa which took home the category’s prize money.

The social entrepreneurship track was also won by an African startup, hailing from Tunisia – Hydropneumatic Flushing System, which has developed an economic water flush that does not leak and that withstands frequent use. The winner was awarded US$50,000.

In addition to the prize money for the three winning teams, all the semi-finalists benefitted from top tier training, mentorship, coaching, media exposure, and networking opportunities throughout the competition.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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