Last weekend, StartUp Cup Cairo 2013 held its first session, where 58 selected teams and startups were mentored on how to build their business and create a sustainable business model. Judges and mentors then filtered the participants’ list, selecting the 25 top teams that will hold pitches to a panel of judges in July.
Minister of Investment Yehia Hamed at the StartUp Cup Cairo 2013
Addressing the participating teams, the Minister of Investment Yehia Hamed stated: “It is projects and startups like yours that saved Egypt’s economy last year, when growth rates where very low. That is why we are planning to increase the Ministry’s venture capital for small and emerging businesses.”
The Cairo StartUp Cup is part of a global network called the StartUp Cup which takes place in 41 countries.
“The most important thing for Egypt today is to build sustainable businesses – this is what this competition is about. It is not about raising money, it is about generating revenue. This is what we are enforcing,” Sean Griffin, CEO and Founder of StartUp Cup told Egypt Business Directory.
“Last year, StartUp Cup Cairo was run by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and today, it is being run by local Egyptian organizations. That is our best reward,” he added.
In 2012, the Cairo StartUp Cup helped around 14 companies increase their sales and attain key investments. These companies came from a diverse set of industries including recycling, product design and branding and technology.
“The good thing about this year is that the participating startups are very diverse and not just focused on mobile applications. They tackle various sectors and vary in size as well,” Mohamed Roushdy, a judge at StartUp Cup Cairo and CEO of Circle Apps stated.
Mentors and judges were able to monitor the ability of the teams to quickly adapt, modify and enhance their business model over two days.
Mostafa Atef, a member of a startup called Buspooling - also a winner of this round - said: “The mentors helped us organize and structure our ideas and create an efficient financial plan for our business. The experience and advice of mentors and judges were very useful and we will start applying what we have learned from them instantly, in order to prepare for the next level of the competition.”
Entrepreneurs who compete in the Cairo StartUp Cup are rewarded for turning their idea into a viable business, going to market quickly, testing assumptions, and modifying their business model as they learn what drives customers and revenue.
The coming pitching session will take place on July 5th and 6th, 2013.