Iraq’s first Tech-Entrepreneurship Academy graduates its first cohort

UK:MENA Hub and Re:Coded hosted Demo Day One for businesses graduating from the Tech-Entrepreneurship Academy.

The UK:MENA Hub and Re:Coded partnered to create Iraq’s first entrepreneurial bootcamp to help young entrepreneurs build successful tech businesses. After an intensive four weeks focused on customer, product and market development, seven young businesses are ready to enter the digital economy.

The first cohort consisted of teams with technologies ranging from delivery services, coding education, logistics, real estate, and the first job platform in Kurdistan. A description of each business is included below.

The entrepreneurs came from Erbil, Baghdad, Mosul and Syria and had the opportunity to pitch their startups to an audience consisting of politicians, business leaders, and future investors across the country. The day concluded with the announcement of winners and runners-up from the program, with the winning business receiving $1000USD.

Also on the day, the audience got to hear from an expert panel discussing “Can Entrepreneurship be the re-birth of Iraq?” The project and celebration day was funded by the German Government (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ through its partner Re:Coded and sponsored by Zain Telecoms.

“It’s important to remember how far the region has come in supporting entrepreneurs”, Omar Hassan, UK:MENA Hub co-founder and one of the panelists said. “People recognise the potential that entrepreneurship has to drive positive change in every country in the region.”

“The demo day was a reminder to youth and the local community that there is huge potential for tech businesses to lead the future of Iraq and the Kurdish region” said Zahra Shah, Program Manager of Re:Coded. “To be a driver of that change is key to growing a tech movement, which is why we’re so grateful for having BMZ, GIZ and Zain onboard to support us in innovating Iraq”. The next Tech Entrepreneurship Academy will take place in Baghdad and target already established startups, providing acceleration training on how to grow their businesses and scale