Flat6Labs, MENA’s leading seed investor and the largest manager of startup programs in the region, has announced the launch of a new USD 20 million Seed Fund in Jordan. Created to nurture the growth and development of early-stage companies, the Jordan Seed Fund (JSF) has achieved a first close of USD7.4 million and attracted contributions from prominent investors such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF), Beyond Capital, Bank Al-Etihad, and GMS Ventures & Investments.
Applications for the program’s first four-month cycle are now open. Participating companies will have the opportunity to benefit from a cash seed investment of up to JOD 50 thousand each, together with potential follow-on funding of up to JOD 120 thousand. In addition to attractive funding opportunities, startups will benefit from the Flat6Labs Amman seed program. The program will run over a five-year period and is set to deliver a host of benefits to between 14 and 18 startups every year, including office space, world-class mentorship and access to Flat6Labs’ regional network.
The program is specifically targeted at startups in innovation-based and knowledge-driven sectors such as Information and Communication Technologies, Software Solutions, Education, Healthcare, Digital Content and Games, Hardware, Electronics, Manufacturing Solutions, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Solutions, Big Data and Analytics, FinTech and Payments, Media, and Entertainment. Each of the selected startups will receive tailored support designed to help them scale and grow their businesses, with the long-term goal of creating regional, and ultimately global, champions.
Participating companies will also benefit from opportunities for regional exposure and mentorship through Flat6Labs’ extensive international network, together with coaching from established business leaders. Each startup will be paired with at least three highly experienced mentors. In addition, Flat6Labs Amman will arrange Demo Days, support fundraising and business build-out, and deliver a full spectrum of support designed to help new businesses flourish.
Ramez El-Serafy, Flat6Labs CEO, commented: “We are delighted to expand our presence into Jordan with the launch of an early-stage fund and seed program, which creates exciting opportunities for local startups. As the region’s leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm, Flat6Labs is well placed to support the aspirations of the Kingdom’s talented entrepreneurs and help them take their businesses to the next level. We aim to support the growth and development of Jordan’s start-up ecosystem, and thus contribute to a thriving national economy.”
Rasha Manna, General Manager of Flat6Labs Jordan, added: “Jordan is home to a pool of talented entrepreneurs who are ready to showcase their ideas to the world. We provide foundational support to startups through funding, mentorship and networking opportunities across the region and beyond. We are excited to now open applications for our first cycle and look forward to starting work with Jordan’s most promising startups in the very near future to help them effectively scale and grow their business.”
Laith Al-Qasem, CEO at ISSF shared: “ISSF has been mandated to improve the Jordanian entrepreneurial ecosystem through acting as a fund of funds and through facilitating the creation of new funds to serve the investment needs of entrepreneurs and start-ups along their journey towards success. Flat6Labs fills an important gap and role by providing studied equity capital starting from seed stage accompanied by competent hands on incubation and mentoring which will facilitate speedier and more focused growth in the investments they make.”
“Jordan is an attractive market for entrepreneurship and early-stage capital given its young and increasingly urban population, high rates of technology adoption, and increasing government support,” said Abdullah Jefri, IFC’s Country Manager for the Levant “Addressing the funding gaps will help build a robust startup ecosystem to tap into this potential and spur innovation and economic growth in Jordan and the region.”
Launched in 2011, Flat6Labs has grown to become the MENA region’s leading startup accelerator managing seed funds with a total AUM of more than $85 million. The company has run over 40 seed program cycles, funding the creation and seeding of more than 320 companies. Approximately 40% of Flat6Labs’ graduating companies have succeeded in securing follow-on rounds of funding from regional and global institutions and individuals at higher valuations, translating to an unrealized IRR in excess of 25%.
Applications for the Flat6Labs Amman Seed Program are open now. To find out more, please click below.
Cairo, 1st of August 2021 –
Eight exceptional Egyptian startups have just graduated from Flat6Labs Cairo Seed Program’s 16th cycle, which comes after over 230 hours of online business training to help them grow their customer base, refine their offerings, expand to new markets and build strategic partnerships.
On the premise of pumping fresh blood in Egypt’s economy, Flat6Labs’ seed program in Cairo provides a steady pipeline of 18 to 20 new promising startups to the local VC market every year. In fact, the eight graduating startups have been filtered from around 1000 applications coming from all over Egypt.
“As the startup ecosystem in Egypt continues to mature, the number of applications for our seed program has been increasing cycle on cycle. But it’s not just the number of applications, we’re also witnessing a rise in the quality of the pipeline and startups applying and joining our program,” says Albert Malaty, Managing Director of Flat6Labs Cairo Seed Program.
Each startup has received a seed investment starting from EGP 500,000 and up to EGP 750,000 in cash funding in exchange for up to 10% equity. “We have recently completed the second close of our EGP 207 million Egypt based fund, having received massive support from all our anchor investors. The current fund size allows us to provide a more suitable investment to our startups at the current turbulent times, helping them attract the right talents, acquire more customers, and survive longer,” says Marie Therese Fam, Managing Partner of Flat6Labs Egypt.
Flat6Labs’ Spring 2021 Cycle started in Cairo on March 14th, 2021 to help build the following eight resilient startups that have developed products and services across multiple sectors including health-tech, supplies and logistics, eCommerce, food and beverage, fintech and advertising.
Aiming to alleviate financial stress for millions of users in the region, CreditFins built Egypt’s first tech-enabled credit cards management platform to help customers analyze and optimize their spending, CreditFins also offers different educational content empowering customers to settle their credit card debt quickly and cheaper.
This technology company puts remotely-managed digital advertisements on moving vehicles. In four months, dKilo was able to successfully deploy 10 cars generating EGP 75,000 in monthly revenues and 6 million impressions monthly.
The Deli Llamas
With “School Lunchies,” a flagship brand of kid-specific lunch meals, food-tech startup, The Deli Llamas , design meals to promote balanced nutrition, autonomy and an enjoyable experience. School Lunchies is a web platform to order freshly-made lunches, delivered daily to schools. Hopping on that summer bandwagon, The Deli Llamas were able to close deals with two retailers in the North Coast.
The Deli Llamas’ website: www.lunchies.me/
Contact founder form: bit.ly/contact-TheDeliLlamas
The Baby Garage
Next to its 360 degrees parents support platform, The Baby Garage is also a shopping advisory marketplace for children’s products and services. Jumping by 70% in revenues this year, the team runs a number of various business units including the marketplace, the content blog, the discount cards, and on-ground activations currently serving 550 thousand parents in Egypt. The Baby Garage started in 2015 and evolved officially under the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in the Ministry of telecommunication in 2019.
The Baby Garage website: www.thebabygarage.com
Contact founder form: bit.ly/contact-TheBabyGarage
This B2B wholesaler lead generation platform is Egypt’s first online platform allowing suppliers to list their products and services. ELSupplier’s tech solution amplifies the supplier’s reachability allowing them to penetrate new markets at much lower costs while saving sales executives hundreds of hours. Since the launch of the cycle, ELSupplier generated EGP 160,000 in revenue and acquired 4,000 new users.
ELSupplier’s website: www.elsupplier.com
Contact founder form: bit.ly/contact-ELSupplier
Launched in September 2018, Intixel is a health-tech startup supporting medical imaging companies with the needed image-analytics engines. In December 2020, Intixel launched its first clinically validated product; AIRA Breast; to empower radiologists in breast-cancer screening programs with its AI-powered solutions. Intixel’s team is a finely selected AI, and medical imaging experts. Intixel just released the beta version of its AIRA Breast product, currently running on the cloud for online use.
Intixel’s website: www.intixel.com
Contact founder form: bit.ly/contact-Intixel
The go-to destination for affordable luxury, Lumiere, kicked off in late 2020, bringing together a community of the most exciting independent luxury brands and contemporary, emerging designers hailing from different regions and diverse cultural backgrounds across the globe. So far, they offer over 2500 stock-keeping units for 30 different designers listed on their website.
Lumiere’s website: www.getlumiere.com
Contact founder form: bit.ly/contact-Lumiere
Already the leading manufacturer of rehabilitation robots in the MENA region, Nureab offers innovative motor rehabilitation devices to accelerate patients’ recovery times and results making the recovery journey for patients with mobility disabilities easier. With Nureab’s product – which is 95% done and in its phase 3 of trials – physical therapists can accurately monitor their patients’ progress to offer them the most suitable treatment plans.
Over the past four months, the teams of the aforementioned startups have received intensive training on topics ranging from Financial Modeling, Business Modeling, Growth Hacking, Storytelling for Business, and Technology Pitfalls, to Pricing, How to be Investor Ready, Product UX/UI, and Strategic Partnerships.
- The next cycle will commence in September, prospective startups can apply through this link
Flat6Labs celebrated its 7th Demo Day in Tunis on Thursday, July 8, in an online event that gathered more than 1000 live viewers. The ceremony was also an opportunity to announce a new investor in the Anava Seed Fund, Flat6Labs’ investment vehicle in Tunisia: Sawari Ventures.
The Demo Day commemorates the 4 months of work that the startups have done with Flat6Labs since the beginning of each cycle. It’s an opportunity to showcase their growth to a range of potential stakeholders: customers, investors, companies, and more, who will be willing to further support the scalability of these businesses. Since 2011, Flat6Labs has organized more than 40 Demo Days, giving more than 320 startups visibility and a chance to grow in the region and around the world.
Sawari Ventures, one of the leading venture capitals in the Arab world, joined TAEF, BIAT, Meninx Holding and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank group, with an investment amount of 4.5 million Dinars.
“We are very proud of our investment in Anava Seed Fund. We have been following their progress closely and we are more than convinced that Tunisia has brilliant entrepreneurs working on very promising startups” says Wael Amin, Partner at Sawari Ventures.
The startups supported during the 7th cycle of Flat6Labs in Tunis are:
- -Ahkili: A mental healthcare booking platform connecting psychologists to patients through telemedicine
- -Dokken: A one-stop-shop solution for business owners looking to create their websites in less than 5 minutes and for a low monthly fee
- -LAMMA: An urban carpooling app that focuses on comfort while reducing time and money spent on daily mobility
- -Ms. Marion: An innovative ready-to-wear brand dedicated to working women in formal working environments
- -Proservy: A platform that digitizes office administration, management and logistics to help companies focus on their core business
- -Reedz: A mobile app that offers Arabic language podcasts & interactive book summaries in text and audio formats
- -Shifti: A centralized online management solution that facilitates the creation of custom e-commerce websites and automates management tasks
- -WeMove: An online fitness marketplace for pay per use gym passes
It is possible to get in touch with the startups through this link.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEN) Report for the year 2020-2021, Egypt’s “Access to entrepreneurial finance” score went slightly down from 4.5 in 2019 to 4.4 in 2020, which can be explained by the tremendous challenges and pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on the economy.
Flat6Labs has doubled down on its efforts to financially develop and support promising startups in Egypt; raising its cash seed offering to up to EGP1,500,000 and follow-on offering to up to EGP3,000,000 – in exchange for a maximum of 10% equity.
The all cash seed advance is meant to help startups cover their early expenses, grow their teams, and implement business development tactics that they learn during the Flat6Labs Seed Program in Cairo. While the follow-on funding is offered to selected startups after the program to help them scale their companies and tap into new markets.
Flat6Labs seed program does not only offer participating companies funding, but also entrepreneurship-focused training and mentorship sessions delivered by top industry experts and pioneers, regional and global networking opportunities, state-of-the-art office space, $300,000 worth of perks from partners such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, the biggest Demo Day, and many other services to equip entrepreneurs with all the resources they need to grow their businesses.
The Cairo seed program is funded by the EGP 207m Flat6Labs Accelerator Company Egypt Fund (FAC), which aims to invest in up to 100 early-stage startups during its 5 years investment period. The notable investors of the FAC fund are the International Finance Corporation, MSME Development Agency, Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, Egypt Ventures, and the latest significant addition to the fund, Sawari Ventures.
Ahmed Rosstom, CEO and Co-Founder of a Flat6Labs portfolio company in Egypt Wuilt, sharing his experience with Flat6Labs Seed Program in Cairo.
Flat6Labs has supported and trained 125 startups over 16 cycles in Egypt to date, and is currently accepting applications for its 17th cycle (Fall 2021 cycle). You can apply to join the upcoming cycle in Cairo here.
Building Capacities for 20 Regional Supporting Structures in Tunisia
Launched by Flat6Labs, Ignite Tunisia is a capacity building program for regional support structures in Tunisia and is a part of the “Innov’i” initiative which is funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France.
Given the fact that 90% of startup support structures are based in the capital Tunis, Ignite Tunisia is a program that aims to boost regional ecosystems by transferring skills and expertise in the implementation of support programs for startups that Flat6Labs has acquired for more than a decade of operation across the MENA region. The program will be implemented during 24 months and will support 20 structures over 3 cohorts.
More than 80 support structures from all over Tunisia have applied to be part of the first cohort of Ignite Tunisia and benefit from a total review to their program and access to the extensive network of experts, mentors and investors from Flat6Labs
“Ignite Tunisia was born after a reflection of more than two years. We were able to identify the challenges encountered by regional support structures, which can range from the implementation of a program appropriate to the needs of entrepreneurs in each region to the economic model of the said structures. Through Ignite Tunisia , we have set ourselves the goal of transferring skills to enable regional structures and startups to have an active and innovative ecosystem” confirms Yehia Houry, Managing Director of Flat6Labs.
Ignite Tunisia ensures to provide the necessary tools to put together a clear strategy in order to build the capacities of 20 structures such as incubators, co-working spaces, non-governmental organizations as well as public structures operating directly with startups. The main goal is to ensure the viability of the structures and to capitalize on the number of startups created in the regions.
The program will also include the gathering of a community composed of multiple structures in order to optimize exchanges and facilitate contacts between the different actors.
Ignite Tunisia also aims to provide specific responses to the needs of innovative support structures, by offering a multitude of training to guarantee their success and sustainability and especially, the creation of a regional strategy.
“By supporting 20 structures in the different cities, Flat6Labs contributes to increased regional integration of the Tunisian ecosystem and creates a better climate and networking opportunities to support entrepreneurs. It is also a great way for disseminating the culture of innovation and for opening up access to new opportunities for project leaders ”adds Clara Guilhem, Innov’i project manager.
From Left to right: Dina El Shenoufy (CIO, Flat6Labs), Ramez El-Serafy (CEO, Flat6Labs), Marie Therese Fam (Managing Partner, FlatLabs Egypt), Albert Malaty (Managing Director, Flat6Labs Egypt)
Flat6Labs, a regional Seed Program and Fund, announced today the second close and increase of its Egypt fund from EGP50 million to EGP207 million, to support Egyptian early-stage startups. Flat6Labs has also announced that it’s raising its cash seed offering for its Cairo Seed Program to up to EGP1.5M, and up to EGP3M in post-program follow-on funding for selected startups.
The Flat6Labs Accelerator Company (FAC) Egypt fund was launched in 2017 to invest in 100+ innovative startups across Egypt over the span of five years, with a focus on tech-enabled solutions. Over the past three and half years of the investment period, the Flat6Labs Cairo Seed Program has run 7 cycles, invested in 62 startups, trained over 350 founders, and created over 1,000 jobs – 96% of which are youth between the ages of 19-35. Around half of Flat6Labs’ portfolio companies in Egypt have received follow-on funding with a total of EGP145,000,000.
The FAC fund’s existing Anchor Investors include the International Finance Corporation, the MSME Development Agency, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, and Egypt Ventures, who have all increased their commitments in the FAC fund to support more early-stage technology startups in Egypt. Sawari Ventures, the latest significant investor in the FAC fund, has also participated in the second close of the fund.
Wael Amin, Managing Partner at Sawari Ventures, said “Flat6Labs Egypt plays an integral role at the seed stage within the local and regional ecosystems; successfully providing the foundational support startups need through funding and mentorship, which is appealing for us. At Sawari Ventures, our fund strategy has always been to allocate a percentage of our fund to the seed stage which is a completely different proposition in terms of process, culture, and support needed. As investors in Flat6Labs Accelerator Company, we get the opportunity to profitably participate in Egyptian companies at a very early stage, get early indicators on ecosystem trends, and visibility into the ecosystem.”
Argineering’s Team, a startup that FAC invested in, at their office.
Marie-Therese Fam, Managing Partner at Flat6Labs Egypt, said “I am extremely proud of our fund’s second close and the incredible support we have received from all our investors.
“Flat6Labs is participating in the development of the startup ecosystem in Egypt. We are proud to support them in helping our community embrace the digital economy”, added Ahmed Gomaa, CEO of Egypt Ventures.
Highlighting Flat6Labs’ role in nurturing a promising startup ecosystem and closing the financing gap for entrepreneurs in Egypt, James Harmon, Chairman of the EAEF, said “We believe that startup accelerators are instrumental to building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, we are proud of Flat6Labs’ efforts and role in building the startup ecosystem in Egypt and will continue to support them as they fill an important financing gap in the market.”
Chefaa’s team, a startup that FAC funded, at their office
Hany Emad, Head of Central Sector for SME Finance at MSMEDA, added, “We consider Flat6Labs as one of our strategic partners and due to the success achieved during implementing the first close, we decided to increase our commitment to reach EGP 35 million.”
“We are very excited to expand our partnership with Flat6Labs and increase our commitment to up to $2.5 million. We invested in Flat6Labs back in 2017 as part of IFC’s Startup Catalyst program and have since supported its growth and expansion in Egypt and more broadly in the region,” said Walid Labadi, IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
Flat6Labs Egypt will continue to support bright, passionate, and tech-driven entrepreneurs in Egypt, by providing funding, technical assistance, and networking opportunities across the country and beyond. Flat6Labs Egypt thus continues to be a pillar of the digital transformation of the Egyptian economy building successful, job-creating startups contributing to the overall economic growth in Egypt.
Applications are now open for Flat6Labs’ Cairo Seed program, apply here.
In March 2021, Flat6Labs celebrated the beginning of a new era for the company by announcing the consolidation of its renowned startup programs in MENA into one unified brand and introducing a new streamlined visual identity as well as a brand new website that offers a consistent and enhanced experience for entrepreneurs from all across the region and beyond.
Through the Flat6Labs website, entrepreneurs can now learn more about application updates, program offerings, funding opportunities, and startup events from across the MENA region – coming in three different languages: English, Arabic, and French. Whether you run an early-stage startup or you like to stay updated on the ever buzzing entrepreneurial scene, here is a list of the five most important things you can do on Flat6Labs new unified platform:
Apply to any of our regional programs
Instead of having to go through a number of websites to see which one of Flat6Labs programs in MENA is accepting applications, you can now easily check our open startup programs and apply directly to any of the many available programs in our different locations, all on one platform.
You can also learn about the start and end date of each program cycle as well as application deadlines. Head over to our Apply Now page to learn more.
Explore all of our different program options and locations
Flat6Labs new and improved website offers entrepreneurs and startup founders a unique and seamless experience, helping them navigate through the many program options and locations available at Flat6Labs and choose the one that best fits their startup needs depending on the stage they’re at, target market, and the location of their business operations.
Check out the Programs page for more details on the requirements, program offerings, selection process, and locations of all of our active startup programs.
Discover 300+ startups from across the region
The Startups page is 100% worth the visit and arguably the most intriguing, featuring a promising lineup of more than 300 portfolio companies coming from across MENA that have developed both software and hardware products in a vast array of sectors including Fintech, Edtech, Healthcare, SaaS, AI, Proptech, E-commerce and more.
This part of the site basically serves as a startup directory, where visitors can discover Flat6Labs companies by location, program type, and year of graduation. They can also learn all about the innovative solutions offered by the startups and take a look at their respective websites.
Read the latest insights
Whether you’re a budding business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, taking some time to read what’s going on in the industry is essential. Flat6Labs Insights page offers a wide variety of helpful reads on topics ranging from startup news and success stories to business tips and tricks and industry trends.
The Insights page is your new digital hub for all entrepreneurship and technology information from all over MENA, and it’s definitely worth looking at.
Join our growing team
If you are looking for an opportunity to challenge yourself, learn new skills and get the chance to do the kind of work that adds up to something meaningful, check out the Jobs page featuring current career opportunities across our regional offices along with the attractive benefits of working with Flat6Labs.
Check out our revamped platform with highly curated content that has been specifically intended to fit the needs of our community. Other pages that are worth checking include Investors, Mentors, Perks, and a FAQ section with answers to almost all the possible questions you might have regarding our programs.
DisruptAD, one of the region’s largest venture platforms, is partnering with Flat6Labs, MENA’s leading seed investor and the largest manager of startup programs in the region, to launch Ignite, a new start-up accelerator in Abu Dhabi that will support early stage companies with AED 120 million in funding and other benefits including office space and mentorship.
The program is part of DisruptAD’s broader mission to support and nurture 1,000 start-ups over the next five years and create a thriving local community of founders, fund managers, incubators and accelerators in Abu Dhabi. Ignite will be the first of many such accelerator partnerships for DisruptAD.
The launch of Ignite in partnership with Flat6Labs underpins DisruptAD’s long-term desire to maximize value creation and deliver long-term economic benefits for the UAE by seeding businesses that are technology pioneers and change leaders.
The program will run over a three-year period, investing in 20 startups every year. Applications for the first cycle will be open until 30th of April 2021, offering participating companies the opportunity to benefit from a seed investment worth up to AED 550,000, together with follow-on funding of up to AED 2 million. Startups will also receive tailored support designed to help them effectively scale and grow their businesses to become regional champions and ultimately global champions.
As part of the Ignite program, startups will benefit from opportunities for regional exposure and world-class mentorship through Flat6Labs’ international connections and top-tier coaching. These companies will also enjoy access to DisruptAD’s network and resources. The program will organize Flat6Labs Demo Days, support fundraising and business build out, and ultimately offer the full spectrum of support needed for start-ups to thrive and flourish in Abu Dhabi.
Ramez El-Serafy, Flat6Labs CEO, commented: “We are delighted to partner with DisruptAD for the launch of this three-year program. Flat6Labs’ presence in Abu Dhabi opens up exciting new possibilities, not only for this program but for the long-term evolution of Abu Dhabi as a global start-up destination. Together, we will harness our accumulated knowledge and experience to better serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create unique opportunities for promising startups.”
To find out more about Flat6Labs, please visit this link.
Flat6Labs, MENA’s leading seed and early stage VC, and manager of startup programs in the region, introduces a new streamlined visual brand identity and a new unified website. Given Flat6Labs expansive operations and impact across MENA over the past 10 years, the new brand identity is launched to ensure a consistent and enhanced experience for entrepreneurs, partners and investors alike across the region.
As part of the unified brand language, Flat6Labs will now be identifying its flagship VC-backed programs as “Seed Programs” instead of “Accelerator Programs”, while still offering ticket sizes ranging from $50K to $500k, supporting startups through their early journeys from Pre-Seed all the way to Pre-Series A stages.
Flat6Labs also manages a wide range of startup programs across the region, from bootcamps and incubation programs helping entrepreneurs spark and develop venture concepts, all the way to bespoke corporate accelerator programs in different industry verticals enabling startups to build prototypes, and helping them access their target markets.
Ramez El-Serafy, Flat6Labs CEO commented: “Launching this new and unique brand identity is far from just a visual change. We are streamlining our operations across all our offices in MENA, bolstering our efforts to support more innovative entrepreneurs, and laying the groundwork for exciting developments in our offerings to startups and partners that we will announce very soon.”
With an active presence in six countries, Flat6Labs has invested in more than 300 startups to date with a combined investment value of around $35M, creating more than 8,000 jobs across a wide range of industries. Flat6Labs is currently managing a number of seed funds with total assets under management (AUM) exceeding $45M, with more than 20 leading institutional investors and Limited Partners (LPs).
To download the new Flat6Labs brand kit click here.
Cairo, 24 February 2021 — Today marks the launch “Fighting Violence Against Women Using Technology” Hackathon on social media platforms. This hackathon is organized by StartEgypt powered by Flat6Labs in collaboration with the National Council for Women (NCW) and UN Women Egypt, recognising the significant role that entrepreneurship plays in providing innovative solutions to address societal issues. The hackathon challenge includes three key tracks: fighting cybercrimes against women using technology, combating forms of violence against women in the public sphere, and digitization of violence against women complaints and tracking mechanism with relevant government authorities. The hackathon will be virtually held in March in commemoration of the “Women’s Month”.
H.E. Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), stated that “Addressing violence against women in all its forms is a crucial necessity and is considered a serious societal issue which harms women and girls, as well as their families and communities. All means and tools must be utilized to confront violence against women and pursue practical solutions to face it, while addressing the root causes”. “Technological advancement is a double-edged tool. Despite its role in creating new forms of violence against women, it has also become one of the most important tools that we can use positively and effectively to address this issue that has become a major concern for the entire society” Dr. Morsy added. “By launching this hackathon with our partners, we endeavor to pursue creative and innovative ideas that are in line with the times and challenges imposed on us, and contribute to working towards a society free from violence against women.” Dr.Morsy stated.
Ms. Christine Arab, UN Women Representative in Egypt expressed her pleasure in partnering with the National Council for Women and the Flat6Labs ‘StartEgypt’ program in launching this hackathon since it represents the consolidated efforts of the government, the business sector and the United Nations in providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to solve societal problems using technology. She added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a new reality on us, which requires finding innovative solutions using technological means to address violence against women in the public and virtual spheres. We also seek to use economic empowerment programs, especially the component on entrepreneurship, to build distinct partnerships aimed at empowering women on all levels. Greater economic autonomy for women results in their greater voice and leadership in the home and in public life. ” Ms. Arab also indicated that the Joint Programme between UN Women and UNIDO implemented in partnership with the National Council for Women and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and with the support of the Government of Canada, will continue to provide an opportunity for innovative ideas that solve societal problems through entrepreneurship.
Mr. Hassan Mansi, Program Director of ‘StartEgypt’ powered by Flat6Labs, stated that “Egyptian women are not only one half of society, but also Egyptian women entrepreneurs have proven an unprecedented ability to succeed and compete at various levels. At Flat6Labs, we are proud not only of the nearly 40% participation of female entrepreneurs in our various programs, but also proud of the graduates who have been able to make a qualitative impact in their field, whether graduates of the StartEgypt business incubator, such as Salma Medhat, the founder of “Matkhafeesh” , an online application to fight harassment. We are also proud of Flat6Labs business accelerator graduates such as “Doaa Aref” who through her online application “Shifa” was able to provide a unique service to deliver medicine to chronic disease patients in Egypt, and attract investors to grow her business and help in her journey towards excellence.”
StartEgypt Program, supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and managed by Flat6Labs, is specifically designed to inspire and support thousands of Egyptian entrepreneurs in the field of community impact. StartEgypt was incepted in 2017 and started its first round in June 2018.
The Hackathon’s jury includes representatives from the National Council for Women, UN Women Egypt Country Office, the Economic Council of the British Embassy in Cairo, and StartEgypt Program. Three teams will be selected to win Hackathon cash prizes for a total of EGP 20,000. In addition, the winning teams will be hosted in the business incubator of the StartEgypt Program to receive the appropriate training and guidance to develop their projects.
The “Fighting Violence Against Women Using Technology” hackathon is a digital competition that targets young male and female entrepreneurs that offer digital solutions that could help society in facing various forms of violence against women and girls, whether virtual (cyber harassment, extortion, etc.) or in public and private places (sexual harassment, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, etc.).