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Cairo University Launches the Country's First Startup incubator in a Public School 

The prestigious Egyptian university is stepping up to harness entrepreneurial potential, with the FEPS Business Incubator, a hybrid entity that incubates and accelerates startups, with 50,000 LE in seed funding.

One of Egypt's most prestigious entities, Cairo University, has just made the boldest move to support the startup economy, as they launched the FEPS Business Incubator, the country's first ever hub to harness entrepreneurs within a public school. The powerhouse, a prestigious institution founded in 1908, crafted a one-of-a-kind hybrid entity that both incubates and accelerates startups, with 50,000 LE ($2,830) in seed funding - and here's the catch: without equity.  

Striving to empower a generation of startups who can drive economic growth, the hub will provide diversified entrepreneurial services for both students and alumni of Cairo University between 18 and 35 years old through three main tracks: Awareness Sessions, Incubation Services, and a Business Clinic. “We are focused on validation, because without validation every startup idea is just an assumption," says FEPS' Incubation Programme Manager, Ibrahim Mahgoub. "As an educational institution, this is the best contribution we can make: preparing entrepreneurs for this make-it-or-break-it phrase while getting customers," he explains, adding that while investors are not interested in startups in this stage, the educational centre can afford to take that risk. "We don’t mind them failing as long as they are making progress towards a validated business model," says the startup coach, who previously founded the Startup School and ran Injaz Egypt's youth programmes.  

The incubator is interested in startups mainly working in manufacturing, tourism, energy, and agribusiness, conceived as the main drivers of the Egyptian economy - and is receiving applications for both established startups, as well as those on the idea phase. "They don’t need to be registered, but to have to functional prototype. All our deliverables are experiments they make with actual users to gather feedback," Mahgoub explains. The incubator's first round will select the top 40 applicants for interviews, and15 will get to attend a training bootcamp that will serve as the launchpad for five winning startups. Finally, these top five will join the incubation programme - a 4-month hybrid of incubation and acceleration where startups offering 50,000 LE each in funding with no equity, access to working space, and mentorship.

Applications are open until November 22nd here.

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