The School of Business at The American University in Cairo (AUC) is celebrating today the graduation of the Spring’17 cycle of the AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator, powered by the Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB). AUC Venture Lab will hold today the FinTech Accelerator Demo Day at AUC New Campus to allow the incubated startups to pitch their business ideas and showcase their services.
"Witnessing the graduation of more promising entrepreneurs from the FinTech Accelerator in its second cycle evidences the brilliant minds and high, distinctive potentials of the Egyptian youth, who will be significantly contributing to the country's economic development," said Mohamed Sultan, CIB Chief Operating Officer. "Providing a sustainable, ongoing support to this dynamic sector is integral to boost the FinTech productivity and create more lucrative opportunities and this is CIB's firm commitment to the FinTech entrepreneurs.”
“Celebrating second cycle of the FinTech Accelerator Program, powered by CIB, evidences our ongoing commitment to support the FinTech expansion in Egypt, believing the dynamic and critical impact of integrating the financial solutions with technology, supporting the economic development and financial inclusion,” said Mohamed El-Sabban, CIB Head of Digital Innovation, “there is a great need to amplify the FinTech portfolio, which can provide specially tailored, affordable services to serve customers’ needs. We aim to lead an outstanding innovation roadmap that will impact the community development at large.”

AUC Venture Lab houses the FinTech accelerator, powered by CIB, a 12-week program for FinTech startups aimed to provide a specialized support to take their business further, gain invaluable insights from some of the smartest minds in the start-up and FinTech world and increase their impact on the Egyptian economy.

"As the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launches its financial inclusion initiative, the role of FinTech becomes instrumental in creating new innovative products and services to reach the broader unbanked population in Egypt. AUC Venture lab FinTech accelerator, powered by CIB is empowering more FinTech startups that will lead this transformation,” said Ayman Ismail, director of AUC V-Lab, Abdul Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and assistant professor.

The five startups showcasing their services are PayMe, Spare, MyCrop, MobiBills, Hanorder.

In digitizing the cash collection process between big distribution companies and highly frequented shops, PayMe offers a mobile wallet based application for local shops and a QR based solution for distribution companies to digitize the monetary transaction between them. "The AUC Venture Lab was the kitchen for turning my idea into successful and profitable business, they helped me implement the right recipe through mentorship, training, connections and finally investment until the idea got well cooked into a growing business,” said Hussein AlMenawy, co-founder of PayMe.

Spare is a smart loyalty platform that helps shoppers save money with smart rewards that are based on their purchasing frequency. Using Spare, shoppers can earn credits as they shop, and add to them by purchasing credits with their spare change. Spare credits can be redeemed at any Spare-enabled store, offline or online. Mohamed Zohair, co- founder of Spare, said, "When we were starting Spare, we were reluctant to join an accelerator. In hindsight, joining the AUC Venture Lab was probably the best decision we’ve made so far. Without the constant support, access to mentorship and real-world experience, and especially the awesome team working there, we wouldn’t have accomplished so much in so little time."

As for MyCrop, it is a tool for growers to access their farm’s weather forecast, view disease and pest probability indices, design IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program using its agrochemicals database. The data provided helps increase pesticide efficacy, reduce spending on pesticides and protect farmers’ crop yields.

A mobile application that facilitates in-place payment for customers at restaurants and cafes, MobiBills captured the customers' taste and behavior to fill the gap in the foodservice industry through creating efficient marketing and CRM channels.

Hanorder is a food-ordering app for groups that collects and places orders and calculates inpidual bills as well as provides an online payment.

AUC Venture Lab is Egypt’s first university-based incubator and accelerator. The lab enables startups to capitalize on AUC’s intellectual capital, world-class facilities and research capacities. It connects innovative startups with AUC’s network that includes alumni, faculty, mentors and investors. Through this, it fosters a thriving ecosystem of innovation, education and responsible business. The mission of the AUC Venture Lab is twofold: to help Egyptian startups commercialize their innovative technologies and business models into viable ventures that contribute to economic growth, competitiveness and job creation; and to provide a learning and research platform for the AUC community to connect with entrepreneurs. Last July 2016, CIB-Egypt and AUC announced their partnership to support entrepreneurship in Egypt, by founding the AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator, powered by CIB, creating a platform to bridge the gap between the financial services sector and the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage new startups in the FinTech space.

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