We believe in the importance of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Culture within the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport. Being considered as the specialized educational institution of the League of Arab States, we aim to be the leading entrepreneurial University, and have a regional impact through its branches in many Arab Countries. Since its establishment in 2015, the AAST Entrepreneurship Center has been working on developing youth, spreading the Entrepreneurial Culture, and Supporting the Creation of Egyptian and Arab based Innovative Start-ups. The AAST Entrepreneurship Center works as a Cross Border in the Arab and African regions. We aim to become the main hub for entrepreneurs in the region, as well as a hatchery for startups, through Incubators and other Entrepreneurship Support Programs.
Our Implementation Strategy Matrix offers various services to help youth enhance and validate their prototypes. Through our trainings, consultancies, exposure, and one-to-one mentorship, we support youth to launch their dream startups, and compete in the International Market. With our sector’ focused incubation programs, we fill the gaps:
Supply Chain and Logistics incubator
First Supply Chain and Logistics incubator in the MENA Region that provides valuable services to every startup such as (trainings, mentorship, consultancy, coaching, access to supply chain network, access to investors, co-working spaces and prototype development). The Supply Chain and Logistics Incubator provides several programs for startups during the ideation phase, then moving on to the validation phase where established companies join the acceleration phase.
Mashreq Tourism Incubator
Mashreq Tourism Incubator is the first incubation program in the Arab region specialized to support pioneering companies and start-up innovative ideas in the tourism sector. The program comes as a result of continuous cooperation between the Ministry of Planning - Rowad 2030 project and the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, and under the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the Arab Tourism Organization affiliated to the League of Arab States. The program is targeting early stage entrepreneurs having an innovative idea and/or a prototype for a product of service that can contribute to enhancing the tourism sector in different areas, e.g. tourist experience, accessible tourism, sustainable and green tourism, and so on. The program offers technical and business support from tourism experts as well as consultation for prototype development, equipped co-working space at the Arab academy, and access to grants, Investment, and Networking opportunities with Tourism eco-system, as well as financial support. Our students are enrolled within AAST Youth incubator after participating at “Yalla Startup” pre-incubation program.
The Youth Incubator at the Arab Academy is the incubation program designed for young entrepreneurs of students and fresh graduates, that aims to provide them with all needed support to start and grow innovation-based start-ups in different fields. The six months incubation program is tailored to meet the needs and challenges of early stage entrepreneurs at that stage; it starts with a pre-incubation capacity building phase where students receive the essential knowledge and skills for entrepreneurial thinking and mindset as well as basic knowledge on marketing, finance, technical, etc. This is followed by a validation phase where start-ups start to explore their customers, market segments, and customer needs in order to provide the proper solution product or service. Start-ups then are being mentored across the prototyping phase and the start-up phase where they are being introduced to the market. The program offers technical and business support, consultation for prototype development, equipped co-working space at the Arab academy, and financial prototyping grant.
Entrepreneurship Rally Competition
Moreover, we have the Entrepreneurship Rally Competition which is our main tool to outreach students and entrepreneurs across the region, and is one of the biggest entrepreneurship competitions that gathers, inspires, trains, and mentors university students to help them develop innovative startup ideas and become the future entrepreneurs. It was launched in late 2016 by the AAST Entrepreneurship Center as one of the main national platforms that encourages the concept of startups’ development for AAST students. It incorporates many stages including awareness sessions, ideations trainings, and Pre-incubation bootcamps to generate initial prototypes. Over the past 3 years, we have held several competition rounds; each one had a bigger expansion that allowed us to grant additional opportunities for other university students to compete on a national scale. Our latest round ended in Mid-November, and was held on the scale of the Arab Region. With UNIDO ITPO Bahrain as our partner, and with the support of the Union of Arab Chambers, BCCI, AICEI, and the League of Arab States, we have had a booming expansion over 18 Arab Countries, and became the biggest entrepreneurship competition in the Arab Region. The final round of the competition was held during the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum in Bahrain with the top 18 ideas from the participating countries getting rewarded with total cash prizes of 85,000$.