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9 Egyptian Startups To Look Out For In 2016

Disabilities Gamechanger Helm One of 2016's Startuppers of The Year

The social startup's project, Entaleq, was awarded the third prize at Total's award ceremony, following the success of Sun City Energy in first place and Tech for a Cause in second.

They’ve been capsizing the conversation on disabilities since they disrupted the NGO sector in 2011. They've succeeded at involving corporate entities in facing social challenges, and took on the massive challenge of organising Egypt’s first mobility conference, taking place this year in Cairo. Amena El Saie and Ramez Maher, co-founders of Helm, seem to acknowledge no boundaries.  

On April 20th, they were awarded third place at Total’s “Startupper of the Year 2016” challenge, in recognition of their efforts to drive economic and social progress. Organised by Total Group in 34 African countries simultaneously, the competition aims at supporting innovative entrepreneurs to help them come up with creative projects to impact their communities.

The entrepreneurs, who were recognised by CairoScene as one of the 15 real influencers of 2015 and one of the most disruptive companies in 2016, were awarded for their project Entaleq – the first website and phone app designed to allow people with disabilities to identify the places that are fitted for their needs, facilitating their movement in Cairo and eventually nationwide.

Helm thus followed winner Ahmed Abbas, who was awarded the first place for his project, 'Sun City Energy', which aims to develop low-cost and efficient mobile solar water pumps to meet the needs of five million Egyptian farmers who own less than one acre of land and use diesel pumps for irrigation.

Second place was awarded to 'Tech for a Cause,' a project designed by Ahmed El Keiey to create mobile apps that connect patients to healthcare resources.

 The jury selected the three winners from a total of 120 projects.

“It is an honour to be a winner of the Startupper Challenge by Total Egypt, and I can only hope that more young Egyptians have access to similar opportunities,” Abbas said. “There are many innovative startups in Egypt that can have a great impact but lack the necessary financial and technical means,” he added.

The winners were selected from among 120 projects by a special 10-member jury, receiving cash prizes for 160,000 LE, 90,000 LE, and 70,000 LE, for the first, second, and third prizes respectively, in addition to business coaching from Total Egypt. “Egypt's startup industry is one of the fastest growing in the region, if not in the world," said Ian Lepetit, Managing Director of Total Egypt. "There is great potential for Egyptian entrepreneurs provided they have better access to finance and technical support. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of a thriving economy, supporting the aspirations of young ambitious Egyptians will help accelerate the country’s economic progress.” The Challenge is part of Total’s global initiative of supporting the socioeconomic development of all the countries where it operates worldwide.  

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