18 Tech Startups from MENA Advance to Regionals of Seedstars World Competition 2020
November 18, 2020 - The local winners of the Seedstars World Competition (SSW) 2020 have been announced with 18 startups from MENA included in the batch. From over 5,000 applicants, 94 tech startups from emerging markets were selected to advance to the regional stage of the competition. The local winners are set to represent their respective countries as they compete for a spot at the Global Finale, where the grand prize is $500K in funding. For more information about the competition, visit the Seedstars website: https://seedsta.rs/38BbeDW
“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets. The online format of the competition allowed us to dream and go bigger as we reached a larger audience and invited more startups from all the cities of each country to apply. Now, we can’t wait for our local winners to represent their countries in the webisodes of the regional stage of the competition. I’d like to invite everyone to follow their journey and root for their favorite startup from the different corners of the world,” shares Eugenia Shevchenko, Lead of the Seedstars World Competition 2020.
Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions. This year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications. From there, 1,200 startups participated in the Online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.
The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment.
For the MENA region, there are 18 startups moving on to the next stage stage:
- StafMedic (Algeria) - A web application that connects private and public medical staff; doctors, paramedics and medical transport.
- AlRawi Media (Bahrain) - AlRawi aims at providing Arabic speakers with interactive audio content that is diverse, engaging and easily accessible through an app.
- Al-Mawwan (Egypt) - Almawwan is the first and biggest digital platform for construction materials in Egypt.
- Paklean (Iran) - Paklean is an online on-demand laundry and dry cleaning platform directly connecting consumers with laundries.
- Fix-it (Iraq) - The first application in Iraq that facilitates the request for maintenance services without the need to wait and waste time and effort.
- Akyas (Jordan) - Akyas aims to revolutionize the concept of the toilet in the modern world, whether it is for an emergency context or for urban sitting
- FinFirst Capital (Kuwait) - Simpler, Faster, Friendlier: that is the banking expeirence FinFirst Capital promises through the use of their super app or website that allows users to reach all banks.
- Mruna (Lebanon) - A startup that harnesses the power of nature and a suite of internet-connected devices to revolutionize the wastewater sector.
- Speetar (Libya) - Telemedicine platform linking medically marginalized patients in the Middle East & North Africa to culture/language matched medical specialists.
- Oriigami (Morocco) - Oriigami aims to provide educational support to students of all levels by connecting them to university students trained by their partners.
- Tanfees (Oman) - Delivers online therapy and matches clients according to their needs with the right counselors using their algorithms at a fixed price.
- Amal (Palestine) - Disrupts the construction industry by bridging workers with contractors, bringing transparency, trust, and culture change.
- Droobi Health Technology (Qatar) - Droobi is the world’s first suite of bilingual (Arabic & English) digital therapeutic programs, using a host of best-in-class technologies.
- IFF (Saudi Arabia) - A local machines supplier with over 900 SKU catalogue, providing a step-by-step guide for starters on how to operate products
- Alphazed (Syria) - A gamified education platform for Arab kids that can consume any school- or country- curriculum and outputs a gamified content
- Fulfillment Bridge (Tunisia) - Cloud-based global e-commerce logistic platform offering warehousing in 4 continents, fulfillment, shipping, return management and more.
- Twin Science & Robotics (Turkey) - Twin is an edtech company developing 21st-century skills and competency among children by providing them STEAM kits and apps.
- Policyhouse (UAE) - Helps customers and SMEs compare & purchase the best, cheapest policy that covers their risk in motor, health and general insurance.
Seedstars MENA Regional Manager Mira Charkawi shares, “In this edition of the competition, we've engaged with entrepreneurs from over 18 countries in the MENA region. Meeting with this diverse range of entrepreneurs every year helps us put each ecosystem under the microscope to closely learn about it, understand its challenges, and witness its development. We are excited about the top entrepreneurs we have chosen, and we are looking forward to working closely with them. In the upcoming year, we will be increasing our activities and programs in the region to support the MENA ecosystem's development further.”
Collaborating with partners from all across the MENA region, Seeedstars would like to thank all the organizations who helped make this year’s competition possible. For Saudi Arabia, Namaa Al Munawara and for Jordan, the Embassy of Switzerland have been supporters of the competition.
The regional stage of the competition will include a 1 month long Investment Readiness Program, modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready. It will consist of: action-driven webinars on key business metrics; online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities; and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.
Online episodes for the regional stage of the competition will be aired at the end of January 2021. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the Online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities. Seedstars The Documentary is a feature film featuring the company’s vision to give a voice to the game changers of the developing world.
"They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds." - Mexican proverb
ABOUT SEEDSTARS WORLD COMPETITION
In 2013, Seedstars started as Seedstars World, an initiative created by founding partners Pierre-Alain Masson and Alisée de Tonnac who, equipped with a backpack and passion to change the world, set on a world tour across 20 entrepreneurial ecosystems to scout for the most promising early-stage startups and build the largest entrepreneurial community in emerging markets.
The first startup competition in 13 countries was a massive success and gained attention on a global scale. It showed to the world the untapped potential of developing economies, innovative solutions and talented entrepreneurs willing to transform their communities. This led to larger tours for the following six years, bringing together thousands of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and experts. Today, Seedstars World is the largest startup competition in emerging markets.
However, in 2020, things are taking on a new twist. Reimagining its World Tour online, Seedstars will now digitally travel across the globe for a 9-month world tour to scout for the best early-stage startups in 90+ countries, organizing 100+ online local competitions. One winner will be selected to represent each country and will be invited to attend one of the 5 Regional stage competitions, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Regional winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Grand Finale, the competition’s final happening each year in April, where startups compete for up to $500,000 in investment.
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