The School of Business at The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated the graduation of the first cycle of AUC Venture Lab FinTech Accelerator, powered by the Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB). AUC Venture Lab held the FinTech Accelerator Demo Day on February 14, allowing the incubated entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and showcase their products and services.
The FinTech accelerator, a 12-week program for FinTech startups, aims 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.
"This in fact has been a learning process for us. We did acquire better knowledge and experience of designing a strong, successful accelerator to help FinTech entrepreneurs," said Mohamed Sultan, CIB Chief Operating Officer, "The FinTech Accelerator is just the beginning of a long journey, during which we have laid the foundation of an ongoing, genuine collaboration model between CIB and the entrepreneurship field. This collaboration will lead to promising opportunities, which will boost the productivity of these untapped segments and accelerate the financial inclusion in the Egyptian society."
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.
"FinTech has the potential for transforming the financial services sector towards more inclusion, growth, and product innovation. AUC Venture Lab, in partnership with CIB-Egypt, is taking the lead in growing the pipeline of FinTech startups in Egypt and supporting their growth," said Ayman Ismail, director of AUC V-Lab, Abdul Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and assistant professor.