500 Global, a US-based VC firm, has partnered with ITIDA to launch investment and startup focused programs.
500 Global, a leading US venture capital firm, is partnering with the Egyptian IT Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) to create a range of programs that will support Egypt’s startup ecosystem. 500 Global will also open an office in Egypt, the company’s first in Africa.
Over three years, 500 Global will create three programs to support nearly 300 startups and 60 accelerator managers with support from its program managers, investors, and mentors.
500 Global programs
500 Global’s programs will include:
1- A Bootcamp for seed-stage companies
2- A “Scale-Up” program with investments anticipated for participating Pre-Series A companies
3- A bootcamp for accelerator managers
Egypt’s startup environment
Egypt’s startup environment is often referred to as one of Africa’s ‘big four’ in terms of investments and FDI. The country consistently ranks highly in regional startup funding and Egyptian investors are one of the most active sources of funding in the MENA region. Egypt’s startups attracted nearly USD 500 million in venture capital funding in 2021 – more than twice the amount raised in 2020.
The 500 Global-ITIDA agreement, witnessed by Dr. Amr Talaat, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, seeks to provide promising Egyptian-based startups with the tools they need to succeed and to train aspiring accelerator managers, thus creating the conditions to foster a regional community of innovators.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Talaat said, “The partnership comes within the Ministry’s keenness to establish cooperation with key global players to build an inclusive and robust network of experts and investors, aiming to accelerate the growth of the local startup sector and boost the innovation-based entrepreneurship.”
“We are thrilled to partner with ITIDA to bring 500 Global’s world-class programs, which have produced eight of our 49 unicorns, and a venture education program tailored for accelerator managers. As long-time investors in the country, we have the utmost confidence in the potential of the Egyptian market and look to be a key enabler of its fast-growing ecosystem,” said Courtney Powell, 500 Global’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner.
Amal Enan’s appointment
As part of its move into Egypt, 500 Global has appointed Amal Enan as a Partner. Enan will be based in Cairo, overseeing deal-related activities in the country. Enan has been actively investing in Egyptian startups for the past eight years and helping them scale. Her experience includes roles at the American University in Cairo, Global Ventures, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, EFG Hermes, and the IFC. “With her deep knowledge of the market and investment experience, Amal Enan will be an important driver of our investment strategy in Egypt, as we welcome her in her role of Partner,” added Powell.