North African startups named semi-finalists for MIT Arab Startup Competition

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The MIT Enterprise Forum (MIT EF) of the Pan Arab region has announced the semi-finalists of the 11th edition of its Arab Startup Competition, with North African startups well respresented.

This year’s MIT EF competition will be held in Oman on April 19, in partnership with Community Jameel, Riyada, Omantel and Zain Group.

Applications were open between September 3 and December 5, 2017, with more than 5,300 startups applying to take part. The selected projects are from various fields, including internet, services, software, education, healthcare and creative industries.

Egypt has 14 semi-finalists, while Tunisia has six and Morocco four. Algeria is also represented by one startup. Other countries represented are Lebanon (20), the United Arab Emirates (10), Saudi Arabia (9), Jordan (7), Palestine (6), Bahrain (2), Sudan (2), Kuwait (1), Qatar (1), and Oman (1).

In the Ideas Track, Egypt is represented by CoolTeck, PetSee and Trailblaze, Morocco by Agrodome and Zelij, and Tunisia by Innovative Waste and Protect Me.

The Social Entrepreneurship Track features four Egyptian companies, namely Ezdehar for Environmental Services, Orient Museum, PRENG, and الخضيري لحلول الطاقة, two from Tunisia – GoMyCode and Talaria Innovation – and Morocco’s Green Gold Energy.

Egypt has seven startups selected in the Startups Track, namely BioEnergy For Supplies, CLI, GBarena, Vapulus, VoxEra, WideBot and قاعدة بيانات الزراعة العربية. Algeria’s AFIND Company and Morocco’s BeGreen Corp are also selected, alongside Tunisia’s Prefabulous and ProvenMed International.

The 84 teams will be participating in pre-bootcamps in February and March in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Nine winning teams from the MIT EF Saudi Competition will be announced in March, and will also be part of the Arab semi-finalists.

“Every year, our confidence and belief in the importance of this competition grows in its role in supporting and nurturing the culture of entrepreneurship. Developing the ideas and projects of the Arab youth and empowering them to transform these pioneering ideas into success stories couldn’t make us prouder,” said Hala Fadel, chair of the board of MIT EF Pan Arab competition.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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