There is a new entrant into Algeria’s nascent startup ecosystem as incubator IncubMe launches to support early-stage startups in the North African country.
IncubMe will provide selected innovative startups with support, advice and multidisciplinary coaching to develop entrepreneurship skills both physically and via a virtual platform.
“IncubMe is providing day-to-day support and individual coaching in different skills and knowledge relating to startups. We are providing all the necessary support to the entrepreneur to let them concentrate on their business,” Kamel Oumnia, general manager of IncubMe, told Disrupt Africa.
The hub is running a hybrid model to support startups on-site and also transcend geographical barriers via virtual incubation. Oumnia said the founders had seen huge potential for the underdeveloped Algerian startup space.
“Algeria is the biggest country in Africa. There are very important business opportunities and a big lack in business knowledge. We aim to provide young entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to build a company,” he said.
“Our philosophy is based on three main axes – a private incubator for a win-win-win result, a traditional incubator with a virtual platform, and a large network in Algeria and the rest of the world.”
IncubMe is currently preparing selection sessions all over the country, which is also open to all African students in Algeria. It aims to assist between 20 and 30 startups in its first year. Kamel said its partnerships with corporates and banks within the country would allow it to raise funds for startups as well.
There are benefits to being one of the first movers in the space, he said.
“Being the first private incubator gives us flexibility and allows us to imagine a virtuous circle where partners and contributors participate in every aspect and phase of incubation, by providing expertise and technology, sharing knowledge and networks, and supporting particularly innovative projects in their sector,” Kamel said.
“By helping young, talented entrepreneurs, they benefit from exceptional media exposure and gain strong social value. Another considerable asset for the contributors is the possibility of taking partnership shares in the capital of the company once created, which is an advantage for the contributor who is looking for investment opportunities and for startups looking for financing.”
For now, though, the focus is on startup selection.
“We are members and partners of many networks and hubs in Africa. So we’ll try to boost our African network, to benefit and share experiences and to participate with our startups in different events in the continent,” said Kamel.