Thursday, November 6, 2008

Startups in Egypt

In my opinion, there are many challenges that entrepreneurs here in Egypt face, but the two most important factors are the entrepreneurs themselves and the investors. I remember at the beginning of our work, when eSpace was established, the culture of Angel investments and VCs were not yet mature, and at the same time, we were not educated enough to handle the experience of creating a startup. Right now, I can see many VCs and Angel investments starting to put an eye on Egypt, but regretfully, there has not yet been any proper introduction between these investors and the entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the culture of entrepreneurship is still far immature, and I believe that investors will face major problems in finding startups to invest in, let alone good ones.

This culture needs to be seeded in our youth. We should start by educating them on how to build their own successful startup rather than leaving them to learn by trial and error, or even worse, eventually abandoning their dreams for a more "secure" job. The next step would be establishing a basis of contact between these entrepreneurs and the investors whom will help them realize their dreams. I truly believe that the government should play a key role in this, as currently is the case in Jordan, and ITIDA especially should start to act more actively in these two directions. Lastly, I also believe that we need more privately owned incubators and consultancy companies that could play a role in building this healthy ecosystem.

1 comment:

Tarek said...

I used to ask myself the same question. What's needed to have startups here in Egypt.

It's about one year since you wrote this article. Do you think stuff has changed here during this year. Are there any real VC's and Angel Investors here in Egypt, as I can hardly find any?

Also, I can see that you've a very successful and promising startup. So, I'd like to ask you, what mistakes do entrepreneurs here do? And what advice can you offer to them?