Striving to showcase the flurry of ideas springing forth from Egyptian entrepreneurial youth, Egypt's first televised entrepreneurial competition is taking on one of the country’s most popular TV shows, Lamis El Hadidi’s Hona Al'Asema on CBC. The weekly segment, titled Hona Al Shabab, was powered by a partnership between three key players in the country’s ecosystem: RiseUp, Endeavour, and 138 Pyramids.
Much like Silicon Valley’s famous reality show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs pitch their startups to a board of five “sharks” – that is, industry titans who are themselves successful entrepreneurs – the competition is going to feature a panel of prominent experts giving their feedback to the fierce entrepreneurs who take to the stage to pitch the startup. The only difference is that, instead of going back home with one of the ‘titans’ on board, each month, a winner will take home EGP 100,000 from the show’s sponsoring bank, EGBank. The three entrepreneurs who make it to the finals will also get a one-million-pound loan from the bank, with zero interest in the first year.
Airing in March on CBC, the weekly show will feature seasoned Egyptian investors and experts Wael Fakharany, Niveen ElTahrey, and Khaled Ismail, while the show’s partners Endeavour Egypt and 138 Pyramids will help in filtering the applications and mentoring applicants, and RiseUp will reach out to promising startups. "This is the biggest opportunity for exposure for startups there can ever be, as it is on prime time TV, at 9 PM,” says Riseup’s marketing manager Dalia Kamar. “Entrepreneurs are finally going to show their parents, grandparents, and friends what they are doing.”
Applications are open for entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years old, who have started their business less than three years ago and are operating in Egypt, until February 13th here.