Cairo-based accelerator and investor Flat6Labs has partnered ESLSCA University to launch a new innovation and entrepreneurship incubation programme to empower undergraduate students to develop viable and sustainable businesses upon graduation.
Launched and headquartered in Cairo since 2011, Flat6Labs is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm with multiple offices across the MENA region. The company invests in more than 100 innovative and technology-driven startups each year, and manages a number of seed funds with a total AUM in excess of US$85 million.
The partnership with ESLSCA, which has 13 city-based campuses across Egypt, was signed in October of last year, marking the commencement of the programme for the current semester’s business students. The programme is set to provide capacity building for the business undergraduates and equip them with primary knowledge and tools, enabling them to develop competitive products and companies.
“In addition to enhancing entrepreneurship education, this reinvented university acceleration program will be a significant resource not only to the ESLSCA institution, but also to the community at large in innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, technology commercialisation, and regional technological and economic development,” said Ramez El Serafy, CEO at Flat6Labs.
The incubation programme spans over two phases in an eight-month period. In the first phase, 100 selected students, grouped in 25 to 30 startup teams, will be given general entrepreneurship awareness and the basics of design thinking all the way to marketing and customer discovery, and offered multiple services and perks including expert-led training and coaching sessions, workshops, and mentorship by market experts.
This will be followed by dividing the startup teams into two main tracks. The TopX track will consist of 10 startups that will receive intensive entrepreneurial training in order to accelerate their growth within the subsequent three months, and the Frontier track, which will allow the remaining 15 to 20 startup teams to further develop their entrepreneurial learning sets and skills. The programme will culminate with a showcase event, where startups will pitch their ideas and startups to a panel consisting of ESLSCA and Flat6Labs personnel.