Sharjah Research, Technology & Innovation Park partner with AUC to strengthen MENA's startup ecosystem

SOURCE: Trade Arabia

The American University in Cairo has signed an agreement of understanding with the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) to support entrepreneurship and strengthen MENA's startup ecosystem.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will allow for guidance and support through knowledge sharing to startups in Egypt and the UAE, it stated.

"This collaboration marks a great step for startups in the Egyptian and Emirati ecosystems. We are facilitating knowledge sharing, extending market insights and resources beyond local boundaries, and expanding our offerings to create regional impact," commented Ayman Ismail, the Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and associate professor at AUC School of Business and the founding director of the AUC Venture Lab.

According to MAGNiTT’s 2019 Egypt Venture Investment Report, Egypt ranked first by the number of investment deals in MENA in 2019 (142), accounting for 25% of total deals in the region. This is the first time that Egypt ranked higher than any other country in the region, as activity in the country accelerates. Moreover, the country ranked second after the UAE by total funding ($95M), accounting for 14% of total funding raised in MENA.

Ismail added that through regional and international partnerships, AUC Venture Lab is committed to the growth of the region's entrepreneurial capacity from two of MENA's biggest startup ecosystems. "Cooperation will also include joint hackathons, knowledge sessions, and various startup exchange opportunities."

SRTI Park CEO Hussein Al Mahmoudi said that the signing of the deal with AUC is an important step towards further cooperation in joint research and development between Sharjah and Cairo. 

Hussein Al Mahmoudi believes the partnership reflects the vision of HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. He additionally highlighted the need for cooperation with the academic and research institutions in the region to attract investment to Sharjah's innovation sector. 

The Real Estate industry saw sizable investment activity over the last 5 years, with a total of 16 investment deals from 2015 to 2019. Access more trends and data in our 2019 Real Estate Venture Investment Report.