In a recently published book about entrepreneurship in Egypt, it highlighted how Egypt has always been a place for new ideas and inventions, but very few of them had seen the light. It also said that entrepreneurs from cities outside the capital were often forced to constantly travel to and from Cairo to meet clients, suppliers, directors, investors or to seek talent.
However, that does seem to be changing, as the city of Alexandria has succeeded in becoming a focus for one of Egypt’s major tech entrepreneurship and innovation conferences for the second year running. The Techne Summit, taking place in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Egypt from 7th to 8th May 2016, will focus on bringing together technology, innovation and talent in the Middle East and North Africa, and from around the world, connecting investors and companies, and fostering the exchange of ideas and experience across various regions worldwide.
The government departments and industry associations supporting the event include the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (where Minister H.E. Eng. Yasser El Kady, will be opening the event), The Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, The Information Technology Industry Development Agency, The Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and The General Division for The Computer and Software.
This year the event will continue with the same philosophy of capitalizing on the crucial role of the technology and communications sectors in the development of nations, and fostering innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to serve the development process. Techne Summit will present international speakers with the opportunity to share their experiences, as well enable businesses to network with others in the technology field from around the world. At last year’s event (2015), there were around 48 speakers, 900 attendees, 39 startups and 100 volunteers, from 12 countries worldwide. This year the organizers are looking at around 100 speakers, 160 startups, and almost 3,000 attendees, while reaching out to more countries in the region.
Techne Summit aims to create a platform where booming startups in the technology market are able to showcase their latest innovations, granting their products or services greater visibility among industry professionals and enthusiasts. The event aims to ultimately develop the technology industry by fostering the mindset of decentralization within the field and building bridges of informational and cultural exchange between regions. An important goal of Techne Summit is to also grow the contribution of conference tourism to the city of Alexandria and in turn Egypt.
This year, Techne Summit will also feature the field of medical technology. Speakers will discuss how technological innovations can contribute to the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of diseases and medical conditions, ultimately having a positive impact on individuals’ quality of life.
Startup competitions too – over $1m in prizes
Techne Summit 2016 also has also announced that this year’s event will feature a wide array of elite competitions for startups that extend throughout the two-day event and present startups with opportunities to pitch and in turn fund their businesses. Among the highlighted competitions is the Seedstars Alexandria 2016 Competition, which aims to support tech or tech-enabled startups with prizes of over $1,000,000 in value. The competition is powered by Seedstars World, a Swiss based startup competition that takes place in emerging markets with the goal of reducing unemployment in those markets through the promotion of and investment in entrepreneurship. The top 10 startups will be invited to pitch in front of an investment panel and compete for the title of most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars Alexandria 2016. The winning startup will join the global Seedstars family and take part in the regional and global Seedstars Summits that include the bootcamp and investor forums.
Another competition at the event is the Aramex Techne Summit Startups competition, encouraging promising businesses with prizes and mentorship.
Tarek El Kady, managing director of the event organizers, Markade, said, “We are confidently optimistic that the event will be one that produces a highly positive impact on the technology industry in the region.” The event will take place in the monumental Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a symbol of innovation and development built as to represent the ancient Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity in the Egyptian city of Alexandria founded in 331 BC by Alexander The Great.
Photo: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina.