Singularity University located inside NASA Ames in California in the United States announced, during a media roundtable on Monday, that the number of participants reached 220 attendees in the “Global Impact Challenge” competition.
This competition is being held in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the first time.
Haider Ghaleb, Singularity University ambassador in Egypt, said that the participating teams include attendees from Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt which was at the top of the list with 55% of the participants in total.
Ghaleb explained that this percentage reflects the rapid growth rate of startups in Egypt, which reached 7% in 2018, representing 22% of total startup investments in the MENA.
Furthermore, he said that the boot camp for the participants will take place in El Gouna from July 19 to 26, sponsored by Orascom Development Holding, EFG-Hermes, and Endure Capital.
“With the assistance of Singularity University professors and multiple industry specialists, the camp will integrate tailor-made programmes for startups and future-oriented thinkers to enable them to transform their ideas into tangible impacts on people’s lives within their communities,” he added.
The “Global Impact Challenge” competition that took Egypt as the regional hub, is based on finding solutions to the issues facing the region to have a positive impact on both the economic and social levels.
“This competition also represents a significant step toward decreasing the brain drainage that can alter and create the optimum atmosphere to foster startups and creative ideas” Ghaleb elaborated.
On the other hand, Waleed Khalil, managing partner at Endure Capital said the Egyptian government has ambitious initiatives to motivate young Egyptians and boost entrepreneurship in the country, however, “Egypt still lacks some stimulus regulations for the startups community.”
According to Angel Co, the number of startups in Egypt has reached 664, with an average value of $ 2.6m per startup.
Investing in the MENA region startups amounted to $893m in 2018, up by a 31% increase from $679m in 2017 according to Magnite, a platform for investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
Participants will prepare for the final event where they will present their ideas to a panel of judges from Singularity University and multiple professionals across various fields.
At the closing ceremony, the “Global Impact Challenge” winner will be chosen and will receive a full scholarship of $60,000 to join the Singularity University’s Global startup programme.
This would be carried out through untraditional and premature solutions in fields like health, energy, education, agriculture, transportation, and FinTech while using exponential technologies.
Haider told Daily News Egypt that the Singularity University added a condition that the winning team would have to return to their country of origin, and launch their startup there.