A MENA first, the bootcamp is one big big step towards creating and fostering a new and inclusive blockchain ecosystem in the region.
While the very concept of blockchain remains a mystery to most, something has been rumbling across MENA in recent times, as it becomes more and more essential to the future of the regional ecosystem - especially given the uncertainty that still surrounds much of the world in light of the pandemic.
It’s for this reason that Stacks MENA has wasted no time in announcing the launch of MENA’s first blockchain bootcamp, as it looks to do its part in creating and fostering a new and inclusive blockchain ecosystem in the region. Undertaken in partnership with international development agency, GIZ Egypt, Egypt-based blockchain specialist, Pravica, and the prolific Changelabs, the bootcamp will be held online for three consecutive weeks starting March 16th, after which a special three-day hackathon will be held, with up to $30,000 in prizes awaiting three winners.
With applications opening on January 18th, only 15 startups will be recruited for the bootcamp, where they will benefit from a stream of workshops and coaching sessions at the hands of some of MENA's most influential and experienced figures, including founder of Stacks, Muneeb Ali; founding managing partner at Plus Venture Capital, Sharif El-Badawil; managing director at Republic, Anwaar Al Mahmeed; and co-founder and CSO at Tribal Credit, Mohamed El Kasstawi.
With networking events, dinners, movie nights and team building exercises also on the cards, it’s shaping up to be a unique virtual bootcamp, but beyond the social aspect of it all, there’s much work ahead if the bootcamp’s goals are to be achieved.
“It has been a dream to bring a high-quality educational program in blockchain technology to MENA,” said head of Stacks MENA, Mohamed Abdou, who will also be on the bootcamp’s team of experts. “So we’ve created it and we’ll help the hackathon winners build real Blockchain products that can solve real problems on the ground.”
In Changelabs, Stacks has an ideal partner to take the lead on curating and developing curriculum for the bootcamp, something it has done for a number of different programmes over the years, most recently with BIG, an accelerator by telecommunications giant, Orange.
“The MENA Stacks Bootcamp is a regional first,” said co-founder and CEO of Changelabs, Karim Samra, who will also be sharing his wisdom with the bootcampers as one of the experts. “We’ve partnered with Stacks and GIZ Egypt to design and build a leading edge curriculum with global experts meant to help startups create better products that leverage the latest technology,” he continued, adding that Changelabs’ involvement with the programme was a no-brainer and falls perfectly in line with its own efforts to bring new and unique opportunities to entrepreneurs and startups across MENA.
As well as the prize money, the winners will have something that will be equally - if not more - valuable to the winners: they will be weaved into the extensive, global Stacks ecosystem, which is hoped to create even more opportunities for all.
Applications are now open and will close on March 5th, 2021. Click here for more information on how to apply.
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