The future is for us, so we need to start preparing for it today. We need more high tech startups with very smart founders in Egypt that work in AI, biotech and clean-tech. So are there any startups doing this? Yes, they are very few but they’re actually doing an amazing work!
Let me tell you more about those that I think are building high tech startups right here in Egypt.
Startups for the Future
Instabug is one of my favourite startups! They have a great core technology and a great product. That’s why the best tech companies like PayPal, Samsung, etc. are using their service. However, this is not the reason I think Instabug is a great company. Instabug’s service is now like Google search in 2004, it’s powerful, useful and amazing but it’s just the beginning.
Just like Google started with search engine, Instabug is starting with bug-reporting. They should use their talented engineers to create more powerful technologies and innovative products.
There are several tech startups that are just as innovative as Instabug with great technology utilisation. Elves is an example and they’re actually doing great as well!
Checkout Instabug on their website here.
In late 2014, Dr. Omar Sakr left Geneva University as a research scientist and came back to Egypt to build his startup “Nawah Scientific.. It is the first private research center in Egypt for natural and medical sciences and was funded for 1.2 million USD within 4 years of operation. The center is equipped with the most advanced high tech facilities and gave the scientists in Egypt and MENA region an opportunity to do their researches without worrying about the availability of equipment and facilities
The real reason of Nawah’s great potential is their work on biotechnology and bioengineering. Curing cancer, gene editing and personalized drugs are from the most important issues in the world today. However, it still is the toughest industry an entrepreneur can get into. It needs very high technical expertise, very big research budgets, and goes through many regulations from the government. Currently, it takes on average 1 billion USD and 10 years of research to get a new drug into the market. But it’s constantly growing and getting disrupted by innovative startups. Nawah is our hope to be the hub of bio-technologists and biotech entrepreneurs in Egypt and MENA.
Check out Nawah Scientific’s profile on Startups Galaxy here!
KarmSolar was the core inspiration of writing this article. Ahmed Zahran, the founder of KarmSolar is the Elon Musk of Egypt, in my opinion. The only TEDx speech I watched more than 5 times was his talk, “The Disconnected Development,” When he saw Egypt potential as one of the most resources of solar energy, he built KarmSolar, the leading solar technology company in Egypt now. Their last contract was for 22 million USD with El Badr for investment and commercial spaces. By the end of 2018, the company would have signed contracts of 100 million USD value with several companies, factories and hotels.
Their solutions are improving the efficiency of the sectors of agriculture, tourism and industry. From the environmental perspective, KarmSolar is constantly increasing the efficiency of its clean energy solutions. They’re also increasing awareness on why clean energy matters. About 8000 liters of DIESEL is saved per day due to their work. In addition to that, they have KarmBuild which is the first Egyptian company that integrates solar energy technology to building design and architecture to build energy efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings as well.
I think that KarmSolar is our opportunity to make Egypt participate in the clean tech revolution and be a leading country in the solar technology.
Is That It?
We still need more startups like Instabug, KarmSolar and Nawah. Perhaps we need IoT startups, nanotechnology startups and more.
But here we’ll find another problem, these startups are mainly focusing on the future rather than the present. We can’t reach the level of having a self-driven Egyptian car without having the right infrastructure of roads, bridges and transportation. We can’t have a genomics company without having a good operating healthcare system. So we need startups that solves the real urgent problems of Egypt. There’s plenty of startups doing amazingly well.
Here are my personal two favorite infrastructure tech startups for Egypt’s urgent problems!
SWVL is a true miracle in the Egyptian startup ecosystem. Within 3 months of operation, they got seed fund 500,000 USD from Careem. Within one year they got the biggest series of funds in Egypt, 8 million USD! SWVL is a miracle because it’s operating in one of the toughest industries.
If there are plenty of new tech startups disrupting the public transportation, we’d see a huge impact in our streets. Less sexual harassment, less street fights and conflicts, less noise and more organization, comfort and productivity.
Check out SWVL’s profile on Startups Galaxy here
Healthcare is the biggest industry in the world. Everyone gets ill and everybody needs medications at some point of their lives. However healthcare is very under-served market in Egypt and the entire system is broken. Pharmaceutical companies care too much about doctors and pharmacists not patient, Many doctors care about money more than patients, which make the patients powerless. As a result the sick person just suffer and can’t complain.
Vezeeta now is the leading health-tech company in Egypt and MENA region. It was on the Forbes list for biggest 5 startups in MENA. Vezeeta gave patients some power, by knowing all the available doctors in their area. As well as booking a suitable appointment online without waiting for hours in a clinic. They have the option of rating the doctor and checking the previous rates of them. This is an amazing solution to fix part of the healthcare system.
We currently have some high tech startups that are fixing the urgent problems of Egypt and improving the infrastructure. But is that all what we need? No, Not yet!
This series by Ahmed Rashed is part of 3 sections.
Forbes Middle East & Egypt Most Promising Startups
Startups Profiles on Crunchbase
EgyptianStreets Articles about KarmSolar News
Industries of the Futures (Book)
Yuval Noah Harari Interview on Al Jazeera
Why the Social Entrepreneurship System is Broken – Peter Theil
An interview with Waleed AbdelRahman