The Cairo Angels has already garnered quite a name for itself in the startup and entrepreneurial community, and it looks like this is just the beginning. We caught up with Project Manager Ahmad Samir to learn more.
The Cairo Angels is an investment network, we look for startups that use tech and have a high potential of growth. Since 2012, we have invested in 25 startups so far, some of our notable investments include: Instabug, Elves, Eventtus and Orcas. We work with a lot of the players in the startup ecosystem like RiseUp and other Angel Networks to keep growing startup support tools and hopefully have our version of Silicon Valley here in Cairo.
What can you tell us about your team and support from successful, high profile business entrepreneurs?
Our team deals with hundreds of startups per year, we try our best to connect them with people that might help them grow and even understand their business more. Our network of investors has a big role to play in supporting entrepreneurs since they have the relevant experience as well as desire to build successful startups. We rely on our portfolio to continuously give us feedback to better our services and capacity building offered to startups.
How did the idea come about, and how long did it take to get things off the ground?
The idea came when the current board of directors realized that they were separately looking for tech opportunities to invest in. They decided to create The Cairo Angels as a network of Angel Investors that track and invest in tech startups. The idea came about right after the 25th of January Revolution, and was inspired by the atmosphere that surrounded Egypt at the time. Our first investment came through Instabug in 2012, almost a year and a half later.
What are the top things to take into consideration when launching a new venture?
Keep in mind that building the right infrastructure to grow your company will go a long way towards your success. Understanding that what is needed is to have a scalable company is what sets entrepreneurs apart. In fact, statistics show that the most successful entrepreneurs start their venture at 45 years old. With that in mind, make sure that you have accumulated enough experience to grow as well as to have a diverse team.
What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
The main challenges today are sourcing startups, which is why we partnered up with EG Bank on MINT Incubator, the goal of the incubator is to produce investable startups that can act as pipeline for the ecosystem. So far, out of the 42 startups that we have graduated almost 40% have gone on to raise a seed round. A seed round is usually the first investment that is injected into a startup and ranges from 100,000 USD to 1,000,000 USD. Globally, seed rounds can go up to 1.5M USD.
How do you view Egypt compared to other countries in terms of projects like The Cairo Angels?
There are countries like the UAE that are ahead in the region in terms of startup financing but we all still have a long way to go.
Address: 28 Falaki St., Bab El Louk.
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