Egyptian, Moroccan teams among winners in Zain startups competition


Teams from Egypt and Morocco have been named among the winners of the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab competition organised by telecoms firm Zain.

Teams from Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also made it onto the winners’ stage, with contestants singled out for their innovative and creative startup ideas from 75 contesting teams from 15 Arab countries. The winners shared prize money amounting to US$135,000.

In the Ideas Track, Egyptian team Kotobna came out on top for its solution that gives young talented authors an alternative method to publish and monetise their work. Another Egyptian team, Nano Ebers, was third in the track for its development of a high honey concentration and nanofibre structure that enhances antimicrobial effects and promotes moist wound healing.

In the startups track, Morocco-based Screen DY came third for their platform that offers any mobile developer the ability to build complex, custom, and native apps that work on all platforms within days. The top two places in the track went to teams from Lebanon and Jordan.

The Social Entrepreneurship Track saw three equal winners. Lebanese team Visualising Impact, a citizen data journalism, was declared the winner alongside Moroccan product health and safety team La Perle de la Mer and Egyptian Tahrir Academy, which has built a blended learning platform that provides engaging learning experiences through combining world class and carefully localised teaching methods with the latest technologies.

“I congratulate all the semi-finalists and winners for showing how progressive and dynamic their startup ideas are,” said Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group chief executive officer (CEO).

“Much of the region’s future development will be driven by young innovative people in technology, so Zain is especially proud to be fostering the growth of this competition. I’m confident that many of these teams will succeed in translating their ideas into successful projects.”


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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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