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500 Global, ITIDA launch Scale Up Programme in Egypt

Egypt

500 Global, one of the world’s most active venture capital firms, and The Egyptian Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) announced Batch 1 of the 500 Global in Egypt Scale Up Programme. The Scale Up Program is a seven-week programme dedicated to Pre-Series A and Series A startups in Egypt. Designed to empower founders through personalised mentorship and growth techniques, the programme sets the stage for their future success. On November 16th, The Scale Up Showcase will celebrate the progress of founders and their companies including Fintech, Martech, Real Estate, Logistics/Supply Chain and more. The event will offer presentations and discussions for an audience of key industry stakeholders and ecosystem partners. 

“Despite a challenging global and local macroeconomic backdrop, we found Egyptian founders proving that Egypt remains a thriving technology market in the Middle East and Africa. This was evident in the highly competitive process for the Scale Up programme where we met stellar calibre continuing to build resilient and healthy companies with enormous potential. We aim to provide a nourishing environment for the selected leaders to grow and scale their reach sustainably. The programme brings to Cairo seasoned mentors, investors and exports to equip the founders with needed learnings and support on their growth trajectory” said Amal Enan, Partner at 500 Global. “With this programme, we aim to develop talent in the region even further for local startups to achieve greater scale, expand in their respective regions, and bring their unique concepts and technologies to consumers and enterprises globally. We’re grateful for ITIDA’s continued partnership in developing Egypt’s startup ecosystem.” 

The programme kicked off on 1 October 2023, at the Creativa Giza Hub, also known as The Factory, operated by ITIDA. The batch then embarked on their journey to El Fayoum for an immersive three-day retreat, delving into founder well-being and leadership through engaging in empowering activities, and spending time kickstarting a community as a batch. This lays the foundation for their eagerness to participate in all the upcoming workshops facilitated by our global mentors. Workshop topics include growth experiments, sales and marketing, operational excellence, hiring and more. 

500 Global’s partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology along with ITIDA began in 2022 aiming to spark the cycle of innovation, uplift and boost the country’s evolving startup ecosystem. “Our support spans across the whole entrepreneurial lifecycle and programmes like Scale Up and others are important to accelerating the growth of

the local startup ecosystem and boosting innovation-based entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Hossam Othman, ITIDA Vice President. “By bringing together key global players including experts, key players, stakeholders, and mentors with entrepreneurs and potential founders, we’re creating a vibrant startup community that helps to enrich and grow our ecosystem to the next level .” 

The programme will culminate with the Scale Up Showcase on November 16, 2023, at Creativa Giza Hub, also known as The Factory, in Cairo, Egypt. This exclusive, invite-only event provides our cohort of startups with the opportunity to showcase their innovative ventures. Founders will have the chance to network with 500 Global’s network of industry leaders, partners and ecosystem players. In addition to startup presentations and product demonstrations, the Scale Up Showcase will feature globally renowned keynote speakers, including Sean Ellis, Author of Hacking Growth. There will also be panel discussions, focusing on regional and international landscapes. Courtney Powell, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Partner at 500 Global will also be hosting a by-invite-only brunch. 

The programme will continue with support for three months after the Showcase, offering one-on-one office hours with mentors and advisors, one free year of office space at the Creativa Giza Hub (aka The Factory), company growth mapping, and more. 

Meet the Batch 1 Startups 

● Birdnest develops and operates tech-enabled rental properties. 

● Blnk is an AI-enabled digital consumer finance platform that is driving financial inclusion in Egypt. 

● Convertedin is a marketing operating system for e-commerce, which utilises data and shoppers’ insights to create personalised multi-channel marketing.

● Dresscode is a DTC fast fashion business that enables Gen Z to find affordable and high-quality fashion. 

● FriendyCar is the first and leading P2P car-sharing operator in the Mena region.

● ILLA is a logistics holding group that offers door-to-door solutions for FMCG companies. 

● Khazenly is an omni-channel technology platform for on-demand logistics and fulfilment. 

● MQR offers widely accessible, high-quality gathering spaces with hospitality-led service and amenities. 

● Nowlun is an online freight forwarding platform allowing cross-border shippers to scan the market for the best shipping options, receive instant quotes, and track their shipments.

● NowPay is a fintech startup building a financial wellness platform for employees.

● O7 Therapy is revolutionising wellness and mental health by constructing MENA’s largest all-in-one mental health platform. 

● Orcas offers personalised live learning experiences for K-12 Students.

● Rology is an AI-assisted teleradiology platform. 

● Suplyd is building a digital infrastructure for restaurants’ supply chains.

● Sylndr is Egypt’s leading used-cars-focused marketplace both serving consumers and dealers to buy, sell, and finance used-cars. 

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