The Venture Lab (V-Lab) at the American University in Cairo's (AUC) School of Business celebrated its fifth anniversary on Monday.
The entrepreneurial institution also hosted a Demo Day to showcase the products and services of 13 startups that graduated from the V-Lab’s two programs, the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) Cycle 10 and the Spring '18 FinTech Cycle.
Throughout five years, the Venture Lab has incubated 115 startups that have generated a total of EGP 88.5 million in revenues and created more than 500 jobs.
The lab has also provided more than 1,500 hours of mentoring and training to startups that have received EGP 220 million in investments.
Khaled Ismail, founder and chairman of KiAngel, a fund that invests in Egyptian startups, was awarded the V-Lab Award for Entrepreneurship Impact yesterday.
The award is given annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the mentorship and growth of the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“AAIB's initiative to partner with AUC Venture Lab as a leadership co-founder in 2013 is a result of AAIB's belief in the potential of Egyptian entrepreneurs," said Hassan Abdallah, chief executive officer of the Arab African International Bank.
"The collaboration between AAIB and AUC Venture Lab marks a unique alignment between financial and academic institutions for the interest of entrepreneurs. We strongly believe that innovative youth are the key drivers of Egypt’s future growth,” Abdallah added.
“As a main driver in the Egyptian economic scene, the financial sector must play a role in empowering the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country," he concluded.
Ayman Ismail, Director of AUC's V-Lab, Abdul-Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and assistant professor at AUC, said: “We are proud to hold the Demo Day for 13 incubated startups and we are also proud to launch our angel investment network. Over these five years, the journey of V-Lab, the first university-based incubator in Egypt, has been both rewarding and challenging as we have been growing and shooting for a bigger and more sustainable impact year after year. It is very exciting that we get to celebrate our fifth anniversary among our graduates and supporters.”
Sherif Kamel, Dean of AUC’s Business School, said, “We are proud and privileged to be considered among the region’s leading university-based incubators offering services to students on campus as well as the community at large across Egypt’s different governorates.”
“AUC Venture Lab is delighted to be ranked by UBI Global among the three Top Challenger University-Based Incubators in the Middle East and North Africa region for the year 2017/18, reflecting our mission and direction and confirms the school’s commitment and determination to create a scalable and positive impact on the society,@ Kamel added.
Moving forward, he said that the Venture Lab will continue to engage with the entrepreneurial ecosystem’s various constituents through developing partnership agreements and collaborating with associations, networks, mentors, investors and sponsors, and will also capitalize on AUC’s intellectual capital across different fields and disciplines -- on and off campus -- to support young and promising entrepreneurs who can make a difference.
(L-R) Sherif Kamel Khaled Ismail and Ayman Ismail (Photo: courtesy of the AUC Office of Communications)