14 North African startups semifinalists in MIT competition

SOURCE: Disrupt Africa


14 North African startups have been named semi-finalists of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, which will offer the winners US$120,000 in grant funding

The 13th edition of the competition invited applications for three different tracks – Startups, Ideas, and Social Entrepreneurship – and received more than 4,000 applications.

Forty startups have now been named as semi-finalists, and will now take part in preparatory bootcamp training to perfect their business models, learn about customer mapping, scale their ventures, and improve their pitching skills, before they pitch in front of the final jury in April.

In the Startups Track, there are five finalists from Egypt – privacy-focused email service provider Dmails, cloud banking startup PayNas, cybersecurity startup Sysgravity, trucking marketplace Trella, and virtual assistant app RafiQ – and two from Tunisia, namely agri-tech platform Iris Technologies and gaming company Historio.

The rest of the list is made up of Algerian cloud-based engineering simulation software company Singularity Computing, and Moroccan chatbot-builder Bots Factory.

There are no North African companies in the Ideas Track, but the Social Entrepreneurship Track features agri-tech startup Baramoda, mobile app for disabled individuals Entaleq, micro-lending app Kashat, and ed-tech startup PraxiLabs, all from Egypt.

Also pitching in this track is Morocco’s GreenWatech, which has developed a low-cost and ecological sanitation service. for households and communities with no sewer infrastructure.