Egypt's Changelabs accelerates 10 impact-centred startups with EGP 2M
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

Egypt's Changelabs accelerates 10 impact-centred startups with EGP 2M

Excited to see impact-driven startups get backed in the Middle East.

Ten startups have graduated from the first cohort of Changelabs — Egypt's first impact-centred accelerator run in partnership with Blom Bank Egypt, FMO, Amazon, Fekretak Sherketak and the Entrepreneurship Academy by SANAD.

The 10 graduating startups were chosen from over 300 applications. They received training, mentorship and support to help turn their ideas into investment-ready businesses in the six intensive weeks of the programme.

The Demo Day was held on the 22nd of August in Cairo, at the Ministry of Investment to celebrate the successful graduation of the first cohort with the presence of leaders from the ecosystem including, Shorouk Zidan, Shehab Marzban, Jeroen Hartevelt, Dalia Ibrahim, Walid Hassouna, Mohamed Morsy and Walid Hassouna.

The startups who pitched to get up to EGP 2,000,000 in funding were:

  • Cyan: a long-term shared economy rent services platform.

  • Youspital: a medical services mobile application.

  • Lendor: an online goods sharing platform.

  • Nash2: a parenting services & products platform.

  • Presto: an on-demand courier service for small and home businesses

  • Proteinea: an insect-based fish food company

  • OTO: a one on one online English language tutoring platform.

  • Vlaby: an online lab experimentation platform.

  • The Rent: a rent collection mobile application.

  • Well.Fit.Go!: a personal weight loss coaching application.

Changelabs founder Karim Samra, commented on the Demo Day, “We believe entrepreneurship can change the world. The ten startups we’ve chosen here in Cairo are the embodiment of that vision, as they represent brilliant Egyptian youth becoming part of the solution, taking responsibility for their own and their country’s future.”

Social impact startups or impact-driven startups with a for-profit models are rare to see in the world. However, this is exactly what is needed to overcome many of the issues facing developing countries. Investors traditionally have been hesitant in investing in impact startups owing to the difficulty in turning a profit.

However, this is changing as there is a demand for responsible companies, and investors are realising the potential and need to support such impact-centred startups. They also serve investors looking for a more socially responsible and ethical investment opportunities.

"There's a market gap in supporting early-stage impact-centered startups resulting in massive untapped potential, Changelabs is designed to address this gap."
Jamal Khayat, Managing Partner of Changelabs

Under the theme of “Design, Test, Iterate” Changelabs aims to support a new wave of entrepreneurship in the Egyptian ecosystem, enabling startups to develop their ideas with meaningful experiments and time for iterations. The Changelabs programme is set to accelerate the growth of Egypt’s promising social entrepreneurs, educate them, and prepare them to compete in the market.

The ten graduating startups come from a variety of industries covering Education, Transportation, AgriTech, Real Estate, and Health and Wellness — showing that every industry has the potential to have a for-profit business model that does good for the society.