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Bey2ollak wins Google Ebda2 Competition in Egypt

After 8 months of struggle, business plans and mentorship, "Bey2ollak" went home with $200,000, and left 19 other startups to solely find their way.
Gehad Hussein | 15.05.2012

"Bey2ollak", a community based traffic information service in form of an application, walked away with LE1.2 million as the winners of Google Ebda2 Competition for Egyptian entrepreneurs.

After a long day of presentations, where all 20 finalists explained their idea and business-plans for a last time to a panel of judges, the winner was announced at a gala-dinner at the Fairmont Nile Towers yesterday.

The winning team's project can be downloaded from any application-store and its success is based on the active cooperation of all its members in providing information regarding the traffic conditions they are facing. It already has the support of major organizations like Vodafone, Coca Cola and Shell.

Waleed Mustafa, Co-Founder of the winning project, excitedly announced: "We are thrilled that we won this competition. Thank you Ebda2 with Google for this amazing journey."

The finalist ceremony was attended by Dr. Essam Sharaf, former Egyptian Prime Minister and current Chairman of the Science Age Society, Mohammed Gawdat, Vice President of Google Southern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Wael ElFakharany, North Africa Regional Google Manager.

In his speech, Sharaf explained: "I'm telling the winners that money alone will not help. Money needs to be accompanied by knowledge and both need to be protected by good ethics and behavior. Otherwise, money and knowledge will be meaningless and might be harmful to yourself and to society."

Gawdat emphasized to the attendees and participants that this competition is not about Google - it is about Egypt. He encouraged the other entrepreneurs that did not win, to continue and "start without Google" - a quote he took from a team that had been eliminated in the first rounds of the competition. "They have the right attitude," he added.

ElFakharany was very excited as he felt like he was "the father of the bride". "With this competition we want to change the default mindset of Egyptian families, where the youngsters are expected to go to college and graduate, just to get employed in some multinational company. No, we want the default mode to be that young people are brave enough to get out there and do their own thing," he stated.

The event was also attended by several investors and experts, of which some were judges. Khaled Ismail, a competition-judge and Managing Director of Intel Mobile Communications, elaborated on how all the projects today were winners and that he himself saw great potential in all of them, to an extent that he is ready to invest in 3 or 4 projects.

Google Ebda2 started in September 2011 as a competition organized by Google in cooperation with Innoventures and Science Age Society to identify, mentor and reward the best technology start-up in Egypt.