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Cairo

Cairo is rife with entrepreneurial spirit and affordable engineering talent. Some of the best technology and development firms in the entire Middle East/North Africa region are based here, and attendance at tech-related events is tremendous. Startups trend towards mobile and eCommerce, but there are significant opportunities in education, transportation, and media. With over 55 funded and incorporated companies, the most successful accelerator in the region is Flat6Labs, whose startups have won over 30 prizes around the globe and received numerous investors from countries in the region. Despite the momentum of startup activity, Cairo must overcome the political instability caused by recent events, which have made long term investment more risky. If the political climate stabilizes, this city will be a hub for regional wealth generation in tech for years to come.

In This Market

These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.

Opportunities

  • Egypt’s status as a developing nation provides plentiful opportunities for entrepreneurial solutions to development issues.
  • As the most populous country in the Arab world, local startups can achieve momentum and use that as a launchpad for regional/global growth.
  • Engineers are plentiful and more affordable than in cities in developed markets.
  • The limited number of early stage investors (Angels, VC’s) means potentially high returns for new entrants adept in adapting global best-practice to local norms.
  • The recent political unrest has made people more aware of the power of social media. When combined with the growing mobile internet penetration rate, this means that the number of potential customers is also growing.
  • Despite the political turmoil, the tech community seems unperturbed and has become acclimated to the instability.

Risk Factors

  • Intellectual property and copyright law are almost nonexistent, making it difficult for companies to be adequately protected and scale quickly.
  • Electrical problems and blackouts are common throughout the city, causing companies to pay extra for generators and additional fuel costs .
  • The political turmoil has scared away foreign investors, leading to billions of dollars in capital flight.
  • There is no clustering of startups in Cairo, which is a sprawling metropolis with enormous traffic/transportation problems.
  • Private equity and venture capital firms are far and few between.
Methodology

Market Indicators

Notable Success Stories

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