The Switzerland-based organisation crowned on-demand nursing service 7keema in their Seedstars World competition, while launching their first co-working and co-living hub in Cairo.
Seedspace, Cairo's new co-working and co-living space, feels like a bright green oasis in the midst of the desert. As Switzerland-based Seedstars launches the new hub, some of the country's most impactful entrepreneurs have gathered for a series of talks and the Seedstars World pitching competition, whose winner gets to pitch at regional semi-finals, for a chance to attend the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne.
The hub, set in a pristine villa at the heart of the southern district of Maadi, is surrounded by palm trees and boasts a swimming pool, a terrace, and plenty of rooms where digital nomads can settle during their stay in the Egyptian capital. The event kicked off with a panel where Seedstars alumni Ahmed Negm, CEO of Raye7, Mohamed Nabil and Saif Ahmed of WIdeBOT took to the stage to share the expectations of building a business in MENA and their previous experience with the Seedstars Global summit.
Abdelhameed Sharara, CEO and Founder of Riseup, also took to the stage, in a panel with Seedstar's Manager Kennedy Kitheka to share insights on the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt, while Swvl's CEO with Mostafa Kandil, and Amir Barsoum, CEO of Vezeeta shared a panel to discuss the process and challenges when getting funded in the MENA region.
Five startups took to the stage to pitch their ideas for the Seedstars World competition, which crowned 7keema - the first of its kind as on-demand home nursing services in the Middle East - as the best startup in Egypt for its innovative sustainable solution. "This step comes to us on the right timing while we are opening a short round of funding and we are within the negotiations with angel investors and accelerator programs. Now we feel very comfortable and relaxed and are 100 percent sure we will get the best valuation for our startup,” said the startup's CEO Amr Bakr.
As a part of the prize, 7keema will be participating at the Seedstars Summit taking place in Switzerland in April 2019, which also includes a week-long training programme with the opportunity to meet the other 65 winners from fast growing economies, as well as investors and mentors from around the world, and the possibility of winning up to $1 million in equity investment.
The second prize was awarded to Odiggo, the first Middle-Eastern e-commerce platform selling car parts online - and one of Startup Scene's 25 under 25 in 2017 - with over 89,000 sales within the first 3.5 months; while HitchHiker, a platform that connects shippers with trusted travellers to save money and time, grabbed the last spot in the top 3. The pitching competition also included Skolera and Vapulus, which pitched their businesses to a panel composed by some of the country's key players in the investment scene. The jury included Hanan Abdel Meguid, CEO of Kamelizer, Karim Hussein, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures, Noha Shaker, Head of Digital Ventures and Strategic alliance at CIB Egypt, Meghan Warner, Regional Manager for MENA at Seedstars and Mohamed Assad, Venture Capital Associate of Averroes Ventures.
The event took place in Seedspace Cairo, the new co-working and co-living hub by Seedstars, which is the first of its kind in the MENA region. Seedstars will welcome businesses from all stages to its space, hoping to connect them to its international community with a wide range of offerings, including individual places to work, larger offices for teams and even a bedroom if they wish to stay in the city for some time.
Continuing on its world tour of startup scenes in emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, Seedstars World’s next stop is Tunis at the Mediterranean School of Business, to select the best startup in Tunisia, as they look for smart startups that solve regional issues and develop profitable products for the global market.
Photography by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.
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