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Events News

Startup Business Circles Kick-started at Egypreneur Club

Entrepreneurship and rigidity are two aspects that rarely ever share the same grounds. Sadly, as many entrepreneurs venture into the field, they are greeted by the rigid shackles created by the government and well established businesses. Alone, it becomes almost impossible to tear down the walls of bureaucracy; but together, entrepreneurs can shift the status quo one step at a time.

Among the pillars upon which Egypreneur stands is creating a nationwide network of Egyptian entrepreneurs who can, together, create a better entrepreneurial reality where they can reach and surpass their full potential.  This network has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is our Downtown Egypreneur club.

In an emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem where sector specific support is not quite available, one’s pursuit for a suitable peer network may become overwhelming. That’s why we invite entrepreneurs from the different economic sectors to sit together and discuss the obstacles that keep them and their ideas from flourishing. In the process, they start unlocking one challenge at a time in order to break down the rigidity of their markets and sectors through a series of entrepreneurial whims.

What we have been witnessing during the active Business Circles at our club, varying between Tourism, Fashion, Pharmaceutical, Digital Publishing, Apps, and Training & Talent Development, is nothing less than inspirational. It shows how entrepreneurs, different or similar, gather under a unified cause to pick some brains and make things better.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur who has aspirations to shake the rust off your market; if you’re an entrepreneur who believes his/her idea may very well be the next trend in the field; and if you wish to explore how other minds are struggling within the same arena, you can follow our scheduled Business Circles at egypreneur.com/events.

For further inquiries, please email us to events@egypreneur.com, or tweet your question @Egypreneur.

To stay tuned and updated, make sure to follow us on Twitter, or like our Facebook page.

Categories
Events

Egypreneur Crew Celebration!

In an energetic celebration took place Friday 14th of October at Al-Azhar Park, Egypreneur Crew gathered to celebrate their previous work together and get energized for the future, the gathering marked a new stage for the Crew as they start their public activities.

Egypreneur is a community of grassroots entrepreneurs, building that community is the greatest asset for all Egypreneur upcoming work. The Crew celebrated the beginning of an organized model to build Egypreneur community, a signup page is now with our community team members across the country as they organize casual gatherings and guerilla activities to invite people to become Egypreneur(s) and expand the community of entrepreneurs all around Egypt.

The signup page, which will be used for our social network afterwards is going to be available in the upcoming events that’s open to promote entrepreneurship to its audiences, our community team will be identifying these events and activities and invite participants to signup!

By 5PM Egypreneur friends who signed up to attend the celebration joined in, after a very interested round introduction during which they spoke about (Google Ebda2, ArabNet Conference, Education vs. Career, Public Speaking and energetically shared the positive energy towards building the New Egypt) while signing up for Egypreneur.

After the introduction and break, attendees split in 2 focus groups and a networking area.

First focus group for entrepreneurs support, identifying what entrepreneurs in Egypt need and how Egypreneur can help them was lead by Ahmed AbdelFatah our PR Executive and contained very interesting discussions and suggestions. Egypreneur CEO, Abdelrahman Magdy asked the focus group members for their views about the financial model they think would be best for sustaining Egypreneur and a lot of interesting suggestions had been shared.

The second focus group was about Za7ma the Cairo Traffic problem in Cairo, led by Sherif Ahmed the Za7ma project manager, the focus group included entrepreneurs already running ICT projects to help solving Za7ma and students working on their graduation project to solve the same problem.

Around the focus groups, attendees enjoyed networking, chatting and discussing how they can possibly work together to advance their projects.

Egypreneur Crew received very positive feedback on the gathering and wishes for more, attendees was promised of a lot more gatherings in the coming period as the community team starts its public activities.





After this gathering, Egypreneur community team will be organizing and/or participating in at least one activity per week in every city around Egypt, where the signup form will be available.

Categories
General

Egypt, The Startup Nation 2.0

Have you ever heard of the “Startup Nation” term before? Probably we are all familiar with the “Nation” part of it 🙂 .. Still the “Startup” part can somehow be a new term to many, especially those who are not into business.

A “Startup”, as defined in Wikipedia, is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. The term became internationally popular during the dot-com bubble that occurred roughly in the second nibble of the 90s ending around 2000. During this bubble a great number of dot-com companies were founded enriching what we call now the IT industry.

Although startup companies may come in any form, still the phrase “Startup Company” is often associated with high growth, and mostly technology-oriented companies. On the contrary, we have the “Established Business” term which we can use with companies like IBM, Intel, General Motors, etc. Successful startups are typically more scalable than an established business, in the sense that they can potentially grow rapidly with limited investment of capital, labor or land.

Back to our “Startup Nation” term, should we now understand it as the nation with the ‘largest’ number of startups or namely ‘successful’ startups? From my own personal point of view, unsuccessful startups are also successful in a way they contribute to the successful ones who learn from their failure. Still, the number of startups within a nation is insignificant until they positively contribute to the nation’s economy. But what about the “2.0” part that we missed all the way? Does it mean that there is already 1.0? The straight answer comes from DAN SENOR’s & SAUL SINGER’s book “Startup Nation: The story of Israel’s economic miracle”.

YES, Israel is the current Startup Nation or what we technologically version as Startup Nation 1.0. Being an Egyptian doesn’t make me disbelieve in this fact. The economy of Israel is a technologically advanced market economy, consisting of rapidly developing high-tech sector, mainly innovative startups, which is backed by a strong Venture Capital Industry. Israel is known for being a world leader in software, telecommunications and semiconducturs development industries. Amazingly, it’s also known for being relatively poor in natural, and probably human, resources that make up greatest nations. Israel depends on imports of coal, food, petroleum and the latest “Natural Gas” from our own beloved Egyptian Nation.

A huge effort was done to make Israel the current Startup Nation. This effort came from three main tributaries: Government, Entrepreneurs and Investors. The erudite, eighty three year old, two-time prime minister and Nobel Prize winner Shimon Perez along with the thirty nine year old smart geek, who is of an Iraqi origins, Shai Agassi make the best example of the cooperation between Israeli state government and Israeli entrepreneurs leading to the Startup Nation 1.0. Perez invited the CEO’s of the world’s five largest carmakers to let Shai pitch his electric car idea in front of them. Doesn’t it look odd to pitch an electric car idea in 2007? Electric cars were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass production of cheaper gasoline vehicles led to a decline in the use of electric drive vehicle. The idea of the electric car came back to the scene after the huge rise in oil prices during 2000’s. Shai decided to make a national project that allows Israel to be completely independent from neighbouring, enemy, oil and natural gas. The good news here is that his, most probably 5 minute, pitch managed to raise a fund of $200 million dollars, $130 million out of the total amount came from only one risk-taking Israeli investor who wanted to build a better Israeli state. This Shai’s pitch made his “Better Place” company the fifth-largest startup in the whole history. No brainer a state like this is the world’s Startup Nation given such persistent government, smart innovative entrepreneurs and risk-taking investors.

Israel’s military service is obligatory the same way it is in Egypt. Yet, the service is due after the completion of high school education; unlike in Egypt. I won’t spend much comparing our military service to Israel’s. I will let you do that by your own after telling you about one of Israel’s military service programs/units. “Talpiot” program has the distinction of being both the most selective unit and the one that subjects its soldiers to the longest training course in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)—fourty-one months. This is comparable to our military service training camp of 45 days (now probably shortened after #Jan25 revolution). Those who enter the program sign on for an extra six years in the military, so their minimum obligatory service is a total of nine years! What’s so good about this program that imprisons people for whole nine years!

Each year, the top 2% of Israeli high school students are asked to try out – two thousand students. Of these, only one in ten pass a battery of tests mainly in “Physics” and “Math”!! (Physics and Math as a qualification to the military service!!!!!). These two hundred students are then run through two days of intensive personality and aptitude testing (this reminds me of the screening tests of Police Academy in EgyptJ). Once admitted into the program, Talpiot cadets blaze through an accelerated university degree in math of physics while they are introduced to the technological needs of all IDF branches. The academic training they receive goes beyond what the typical university student would receive in Israel or anywhere else—they study more, in less time to get university degrees comparable to those obtained from MIT, Berkeley and Stanford. They also go through basic training with the paratroopers. The idea is to give them an overview of all the major IDF branches so that they understand both the technology and military needs – and specially the connection between them. The Talpiot program as a whole is under Mafat, the IDF’s internal research and development arm, which is parallel to America’s DARPA (can we call the Arab Organization for Industrialization “AOI”, the Egyptian Army arm for R&D???). Mafat has the coveted and sensitive job of assigning each Talpiot cadet (Talpion) to a specific unit in the IDF for their next six years of regular service.

Talpiot training is optimized to maintain the IDF’s technological edge, the same combination of leadership experience and technical knowledge is ideal for creating new companies. Although the program has produced only about 650 graduates since founded after the historical defeat against Egypt in 6th of October war, they have become some of Israel’s top academics and founders of the state’s most successful companies. NICE systems, the global corporation behind call-monitoring systems used by 85 of the Forbes 100 companies, was founded by a team of Talpions. So was Campugen, a leader in human-gnome decoding and drug development. Many of the Israeli technology companies traded on the NASDAQ were either founded by a Talpion or have alumni situated in key roles. We need to know that, after the United States, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world, including India, China, Korea, Singapore and Ireland.

More stories can be narrated about how Israel became the current Startup Nation. Still, this is not the end. They will do more to sustain their success and grow their illegal state. But where are we? What is our reaction towards that? Should we even have a reaction?

Yes, we have to have a reaction. We successfully moved one step forward towards being an independent nation. We made a peaceful successful revolution against dictatorship that inspired even our enemies. We should continue to build a great nation. I, personally, believe that “Economy Comes First”. We should have a national dream, not like Turkey’s, not like Malaysia’s, not like Korea’s, not even like the United States’ or Israel’s. We should have our own model that, once again, redirects the history towards this part of the world called Egypt. We should be the Startup Nation 2.0 in less than 10 years. Israel could have muscles but lacks both the spirit and belief behind to achieve victory. We have the true belief and divine spirit and all we want now is to work out our muscles.

Mohammad Omara

Mohammad Omara

Community Manager Alexandria

Mohammad is one of the most outspoken individuals about entrepreneurship in Egypt, he’s the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Alex and managing Egypreneur community in Alexandria!