The first cohort of the American University of Cairo’s (AUC) Venture Lab Fintech Accelerator graduated this week, with participants pitching and showcasing their solutions at a Demo Day.
The AUC Venture Lab Fintech Accelerator was launched in July 2016, through a partnership between AUC and the Commercial International Bank of Egypt (CIB).
The 12-week programme for fintech startups aims to create a platform to bridge the gap between the financial services sector and the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem, and to encourage new startups in the fintech space.
The programme offers specialised support to help take businesses to the next level, and gives startups access to experience and insights of some of the smartest minds in the startup and fintech world.
The Accelerator is based on the aim of increasing the impact of fintech startups on the Egyptian economy.
“Fintech has the potential for transforming the financial services sector towards more inclusion, growth, and product innovation. AUC Venture Lab, in partnership with CIB-Egypt, is taking the lead in growing the pipeline of fintech startups in Egypt and supporting their growth,” said Ayman Ismail, director of AUC V-Lab.
Five startups were showcased at the programme’s culminating Demo Day this week.
Neqabty operates a mobile and web application providing comprehensive payment solutions for customers, enabling them to pay for their prescriptions, renewals and medical fees.
Social platform Insanyah aims to revolutionise charitable donations by connecting people with millions of charitable organizations based on their preferred cause.
7esba aims to make relations between neighbours easier by helping flat owners to manage and track shared building bills and payments.
Online credit-enabling platform Roznamgy aims to bridge the gap between SMEs and financial institutions by matching credit applicants with lending institutions in a systematic, easy to use and time efficient manner.
The cohort is completed by Pochy, a social payment application which helps users collect money from a group of people for a specific cause.
The AUC Venture Lab Fintech Accelerator claims to be the first university-based accelerator in Egypt, and the organising partners said the first cohort has been the first step in a learning curve to create valuable support system for Egyptian entrepreneurs.
“This in fact has been a learning process for us. We did acquire better knowledge and experience of designing a strong, successful accelerator to help fintech entrepreneurs,” said Mohamed Sultan, CIB chief operating officer.
“The Fintech Accelerator is just the beginning of a long journey, during which we have laid the foundation of an ongoing, genuine collaboration model between CIB and the entrepreneurship field. This collaboration will lead to promising opportunities, which will boost the productivity of these untapped segments and accelerate the financial inclusion in the Egyptian society.”