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Meet the 15 Startups Pitching At Falak's Inaugural Demo Day in Cairo

Pitching in a palace must be fancy. These 15 startups had the chance to pitch under the dome of Mohamed Ali's Palace in Cairo's Manial in front of four ministers among other key players in the Egyptian startup scene.

Under the medievally decorated dome of Mohamed Ali's Manial Palace, Falak's pilot acceleration cycle kicked off on May 31st, with participants from 13 governorates presenting their refined business models, in an effort to secure funding from Egyptian and regional investors. Falak's 4-month accelerator programme is supported by a financial technology fund and accelerator, EFG-EV Fintech, launched by Egypt Ventures (EV) in partnership with EFG-Hermes, and supported by the Sanad fund. 

Established in 2017, Falak Startups is also endorsed by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation’s (MIIC) nationwide programme, Fekretak Sherketak. "Entrepreneurial success, especially within our young demographic, creates positive spillover effects throughout the entire economy, supports our goal to achieve wider financial inclusion and boosts job creation on the macroeconomic level," says Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr. "It is an essential component in creating a sustainable engine for long-term economic growth."

Fifteen high-growth startups enrolled in Falak’s pilot acceleration cycle and were featured during the event hosted at the Golden Room Hall in Prince Mohamed Ali Manial Palace, pitching in front of key players and decision makers, including Ali El Moselhy, Minister of Supply, Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Khaled Badawi, Minister of Public Enterprise, Shehab Marzban, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and Chairman of Egypt Ventures, Mohamed Fareed, Executive Chairman at the Egyptian Stock Exchange, General Mohamed Amin, Treasurer of the Tahya Masr Fund, MP Amr Ghalab, and Chairman of the Economic Committee of the House of Representatives. Here's the championing startups:

Auto Parts
Autoparts aims to disrupt the current automotive spare parts industry by consolidating a fragmented and grey market sector. Autoparts is an online marketplace providing for its customers an extensive selection of spare parts at competitive and transparent prices by vertically merging different steps of the value chain. It also offers a network of reliable service providers to ensure quick, convenient and trusted installation of its spare parts.
 
Pay Nas
PayNas is a cloud-based HR and payroll enrolment platform that provides banking services and benefits to small-sized companies and their employees, which do not have access to financial services due to their size. PayNas assists SMEs optimise their workforce by providing multiple HR features such as employee and payroll management, recruitment management, task management, and attendance management with a time logging track system. The platform plays the intermediary with the banking system to provide its clients with bank accounts with Visa powered debt and credit card.
 
Masry Market
After a spike in prices due to the 2016 devaluation and flotation of the Egyptian Pound and a regulatory change in import tariffs, consumption of goods was geared towards local products. Masry Market aims to capture the newly formed market gap and meet untapped demand by creating an online platform whereby consumers can easily find local alternatives to everyday products at competitive prices. Masry Market has also provided a gateway for local companies to advertise their products online and a new distribution channel for those which don’t have a wide geographical reach.
 
3elagi
For the same financial reasons on which the urgency of Masry Market is based, in the past few years, Egypt witnessed huge and frequent shortages in drugs and medications; an issue that presented pain points to consumers and a potential market gap. 3elagi offers a single click solution that connects consumers with pharmacies, labs and healthcare providers in the former’s geographical area. With a simple application and web platform, customers can not only easily make their requests for medication, but also choose from an array of service providers willing and able to fulfil their request on time.
 
Olli
Olli is an app specialized in serving students in different stages of their educational careers, starting from Thanaweyya Amma to secondary school. Olli curates relevant and useful content from teachers and former top performing students and sells it to users and provides a platform through which we can connect current students with individuals who can provide the information they need.
 
Noqood
Noqood is a financial platform combining Egyptian financial and investment market participants in one place. In turn, they offer a smart solution for users and provide them with personalised, unbiased, accurate and unlimited financial information. The startup aims to help users make a better financial decisions by providing them with more knowledge, time-efficiency, and more money saved. Users can search for the product or service needed, compare between different results, make an instant decision, and apply for the best that suits and satisfies their needs.
 
Primo
This startup emerged as a response to the difficulties in finding talented, consistent service providers who are able to meet the growing demand for home improvement services. Primo is a curated marketplace that connects customers with verified technicians and handymen that offer repair, maintenance, and refurbishing services. Arguably the first platform of its kind in Egypt, it allows customers to compare and review service providers and receive competitive bids for their requests. To guarantee quality, Primo holds its workforce to strict criteria, as they undergo constant assessment, evaluation, and review.
 
Kazzeem
Kazzeem provides cleaning services by operating as a curated platform that connects customers to high quality cleaning services. Operating within a mostly informal market, This startup is able to provide a unique and valuable service by providing training and payroll banking services to its employees, as well as insurance to its customers.
 
Medbox
Medbox is a suite of applications that will be involved in the whole pharmaceutical value chain, from the pharmaceutical producers and importers till the patient. Its main objective is to ease communication, purchasing, planning and payment between all stakeholders while also providing direct and targeted marketing channels for pharmaceutical companies and brands, medical reps and pharmacies. The first app currently being rolled-out is Roshetta, which is an App linking patients with their closest pharmacy, but eventually Medbox will also include a community building platform for pharmacists, medical reps and companies, a POS system to be installed in pharmacies as well as as inventory and purchasing management system. These services and products will also allow Medbox to collect a wealth of data that it will capitalize on at a later stage.
 
ElRoshetta
El Roshetta is a mobile application in Alexandria and East Cairo that helps in solving medicine shortage problems in Egypt. It connects patients with pharmacies that offer their medicine or prescription and deliver it to the house with no extra fees.
 
Find Me Football
While many have tried to enter the football industry through tech startups, the Find Me Football (“FMF”) team believes most of them failed because of focusing on solving the minor issue of pitch booking rather than tackling the core issues, namely forming teams and finding the best pitches. FMF is a community building and social inclusion app for amateur footballers. The app allows users to create and join matches with others outside of their social group, or streamline the planning process when playing with friends. It also includes an extensive pitch list which is crowd sourced to allow for maximum pitch numbers in minimal time. Whilst the app is free, FMF will monetise by leveraging on its user base through innovative tournaments and use it as a marketing channel for sports companies’ branding campaigns and events.
 
Taqatak
Capitalising on a shift to a more environmentally conscious culture, Taqatak has managed to innovative and integrate the fields of renewables and marketing. Taqatak is a vibrant business venture that pioneers in producing branded solar-powered products for advertising in public spaces. Their most recently sold products include solar-powered mobile-charging stations and solar enabled umbrellas with built in charging units. With a large client base - consisting of real estate developers, banks, and commercial entities - Taqatak’s offering of an interactive advertising method provides a unique value proposition in the market.
 
HLPR
Cleaning is often considered an unwelcome burden in people’s busy schedule. HLPR is an online booking and payment platform that connects homeowners with pre-vetted local domestic helpers. HLPR is a search engine for both home owners and businesses; it also serves as a product placement and marketing channel for FMCG companies. Currently, HLPR has started with cleaning services, but will expand into other home services, such as cooking and babysitting. For the B2C segment, HLPR charges a flat rate per meter square cleaned according to the type of service ordered, while B2B are charged on a long term contract basis. HLPR has launched only ten weeks ago and has already completed around 100 orders.
 
XPay
Transforming universities, schools, clubs, and residential compounds into cashless communities; that's the goal behind Xpay. The members’ mobile app helps users book and pay for any activity or fee in under 1 minute, with a family account enabling full usability for every member of the family. Built on big data analytics, and AI, the startup aims to become a communication centre increasing community satisfaction, efficiency, safety and reducing corruption. 
 
Mazboot
Mazboot is a digital healthcare app tailored to diabetics patients allowing them to monitor and self-manage their food intake and blood sugar level. It is designed specifically for the MENA region, with Arabic being its primary language. Mazboot offers various services to its users, such as a personal diabetic coach, in which the patient receives daily medical follow-ups by qualified doctors. With 3,000 active users, it expects to monetise its current freemium user base once the second update version is released.
  
Photography: @MO4Network's #Mo4Productions. 
Photographer: Eslam Mohamed 

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